Zziwa’s Eala removal: East African court to deliver judgment today

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ARUSHA-Judgment of a case in which the former Speaker of the East African Legislative Assembly (Eala) Margret Zziwa is seeking $2 million (Shs7.1 billion) in compensation for her removal from office will be delivered in Arusha, Tanzania on Friday.

The East African Court of Justice (EACJ) will today deliver its ruling on the case filed by the legislator against the secretary general of the East African Community (EAC).

Ms Zziwa describes her removal from the speakership in 2014 as illegal and an infringement of the EAC Treaty.

Ms Zziwa, a lawmaker from Uganda, served as Eala Speaker from June 2012 until December 2014 when she was impeached for alleged abuse of office.

She filed the case before the regional court challenging the process of her removal from the office of Eala speaker, saying it was illegal and an infringement of Articles 53 and 56 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the EAC.

The court heard oral evidence from the two parties’ witnesses (the applicant and respondent) from July 26th to 29th last year.

The judges concluded the hearing of the case on November 21 last year when they heard oral highlights of written submissions by counsels for the parties.

According to Ms Anna Nabaasa, the communication officer with EACJ, the judgment will be delivered at the court chambers on Friday by judges in the First Instance Division.

These include Lady Justice Monica Mugenyi (principal judge), Justice Isaac Lenaola, Dr Justice Faustin Ntezilyayo, Justice Fakihi A. Jundu and Justice  Audace Ngiye.

Ms Zziwa was succeeded by Daniel F. Kidega, also from Uganda, as speaker.

She has been an Eala member since 2007 having been re-elected in 2012, this time landing the speaker’s job.

The tenure for Ms Zziwa and Mr Kidega as Eala members ends on June 5 after serving for two (5- year terms each from 2007-2017). 

Ms Zziwa is seeking reinstatement on grounds that her removal was illegal and that because of the intimidations she went through she is seeking $2 million in compensation which amount could cover salary, legal costs and reputation damage.

Ms Zziwa refutes allegations against her which included poor governance, lack of leadership skills and poor time management as well as hands-off attitude towards Assembly responsibilities.

She was accused of abuse of office by involving members of her family in office matters.

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