World Bulletin/News Desk
Members of the East African Legislative Assembly on Wednesday voted to remove Assembly Speaker Margret Zziwa from her post.
Out of 39 representatives present, 36 voted in favor of the move, two voted against and one abstained.
Among other things, lawmakers accused Zziwa of misconduct, abuse of power and misuse of parliamentary funds by including her relatives in assembly activities for which they allegedly drew undeserved payments.
The decision to remove Zziwa was based on recommendations issued by the Assembly's committee on legal, rules and privileges.
"After our independent observation, conducting interviews, and collecting various documents – including Speaker Zziwa's letters, still pictures and video – all the allegations proved to be true," the committee concluded.
"In light of the committee's observations and findings," it added, "the committee recommends to the assembly that Speaker Zziwa be removed from office with immediate effect for inability to perform the functions of her office arising from misconduct."
The Assembly is the legislative arm of the East African Community, a regional bloc that includes Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.
It is comprised of nine members and the regional cooperation minister from each member state, along with the East African Community's secretary-general and counsel.
Elected members serve out five-year terms.
Peter Mathuki, a Kenyan representative who tabled the motion to remove Zziwa in March, welcomed the vote's outcome.
"Today is a great day for me as a member of parliament and citizen of East Africa," he said.
"This parliament has confirmed without doubt that my motion was focused and based on the broader interests of the East African Community and not on a private agenda as some have tried to claim," Mathuki added.
Like Zziwa, the new speaker must hail from Uganda, since the post is held on a rotating basis among the five member states.
"The post is free to be taken by any elected member from Uganda," assembly cleric Kenneth Madette told The Anadolu Agency.
According to assembly bylaws, the vacancy must be filled within 48 hours of the speaker's removal.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 18 Aralık 2014, 00:10