By Max Patrick Ocaido
Mityana Municipality MP Francis Zaake has been sent to the Parliamentary Committee on Rules, Privileges, and Discipline for his continued unruly, foul-mouthed and ill-mannered conduct within and outside parliament.
The conduct of the youngest independent but opposition leaning legislator on Thursday shocked the Speaker of parliament Rebecca Kadaga after retrieving footage of Zaake harassing, abusing and threatening to beat up Makerere University Vice Chancellor Barnabas Nawangwe who was appearing before Parliamentary Committee on Education on Wednesday.
“I am disappointed that yesterday [Wednesday] there was a big display of a breach of Rule 83 and 84 and I hope that members will desist from that conduct. When members were allowed to put questions to the Makerere delegation, Hon Zaake demanded that his questions must be answered first. He kept on interjecting and attacking personality and ignoring the Chairperson and other members of the committee,” Kadaga said.
“Zaake was unruly and uncontrollable, and I have been informed that Hon Basalirwa [Asuman] had to intervene to tell him to control himself in vain. I have retrieved footage of Hon Zaake following Prof Nawangwe up to the stair; heckling, insulting and threatening to beat him. In my view, Hon Zaake has conducted himself in a manner unbecoming of an MP and he has breached our code of conduct and therefore lowered the public trust of this institution. I, therefore, forward this matter to the Committee on Rules, Privilege, and Discipline for further investigation and should make appropriate recommendations to the house within two weeks.”
Rule 83 of the Parliament Rules of Procedure bars MPs from using unparliamentary language which is offensive, abusive, insulting and blasphemous.
During the committee meeting on Wednesday, Zaake among others accused Prof. Nawangwe of having 'several girlfriends' at Makerere that he uses as “spies.”
Earlier on Tuesday, the same MP intimidated and attacked the personality of Education state minister Chrysostom Muyingo who was appearing before a committee.
Not the first time
MP Zaake is not new to such rowdy conduct void of etiquette and a sound mind. In 2017, MP Zaake put parliament into disrepute when he and other opposition MPs attempted to confiscate the Speaker’s mesh during the age limit debate and openly got involved in a fistfight with security officers who attempted to bring sanity in the parliament chambers.
Upon coming to Parliament in 2016, Zaake’s true colors of rotten conduct were first observed when he solely disrupted the Buganda caucus meeting which had convened to elect its leaders.
Parliamentary Rules of Procedure require that Members of Parliament shall at all times conduct themselves in a manner that will enhance public trust and confidence in the integrity of parliament and not undertake any action which will bring the house to disrepute.