The Constitutional Court in Kampala has overturned Parliament’s decision to remove Zaake Francis Butebi, a Member of Parliament from the National Unity Platform, from his position as a Parliament Commissioner.
In March of last year, Zaake, who represents Mityana Municipality, was ousted as a Parliament Commissioner due to misconduct. He had reportedly posted offensive tweets directed at the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Anita Among. A total of 155 legislators voted in favour of his removal.
In response, Zaake, through lawyers of Lukwago and Company Advocates, filed a case to the Constitutional Court, challenging Parliament’s actions.
In his lawsuit, Zaake argued that it was improper and unlawful for Speaker Among to turn her personal grievances into a matter for investigation by Parliament’s Committee on Rules, Privileges, and Discipline, which ultimately led to his removal as a parliamentary commissioner.
Today, the Constitutional Court ruled in favour of Zaake. The court found that Parliament had failed to follow various procedural requirements and had acted in violation of the law. This included amending the Order Paper to include a motion to dismiss Zaake without proper procedures.
Furthermore, the court held that Speaker Anita Among had infringed upon basic human rights by behaving as if she were a judge in a case in which she had a direct personal interest, which was deemed incorrect.
Additionally, the court found fault with Parliament for passing a motion to expel Zaake without first considering the number of members present to make such a decision.