Uganda Parliament Speaker Rebecca Kadaga wants Mityana Municipality member of parliament Francis Zaake probed by the Committee on Rules, Discipline and Privileges for putting parliament in disrepute.
Zaake who only makes headlines when he is involved in a fight with security or government officials, was at it again, when Makerere University Vice Chancellor Prof Barnabas Nawangwe was hosted by the Education and Sports committee in parliament. Makerere university has just emerged from an ugly protest over tuition which pitied students against security forces which left many students injured, arrested and hospitalized.
Education officials have argued that politicians were funning the protests at Makerere.
And Zaake did not save education officials and Prof Nawangwe who were this week facing the Education and Sports committee.
Speaker Kadaga referred to Zaake’s alteration with Nawangwe in and outside the committee which she says provided prima facie that Zaake breached Rules 83 and 84 of parliamentary conduct.
The 28-year-old first term MP has been in the news on a number of times, each time either starting a fight or getting embroiled in one.
Zaake emerged on September 26, 2017 when Igara West MP Raphael Magyezi attempted to table the controversial constitutional amendment bill which aimed at removing age limits for presidential candidates. The amendment was seen by many as an attempt for President Museveni to rule Uganda for life. The tense political temperatures at the time exploded in the House seeing disruption in the house and on 27 September Zaake was among MPs suspended for misconduct, an announcement that brought the House down. Soldiers invaded Parliament, arrested some MPs who fought back, and Zaake was at the centre of it as he engaged Gen Katumba Wamala (Works state minister) in a fight which left the youthful legislator nursing wounds.
Zaake return in the news in Agust 2018 after he was beaten to pulp by Special Forces soldiers on the eve of Arua municipality by-elections before he was hospitalized in Gulu and later dropped at the gate of Lubaga hospital. Zaake and his group which included Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine and others were later charged with treason in a Gulu court. Voices later emerged that Zaake was beaten more than anyone else because he attempted to wrestle with SFC soldiers.
In the above instances, one would argue that Zaake was provoked into fights, however, no one can convince Lydia Wanyoto, the National Resistance Movement (NRM) women’s league chairperson that Zaake is an innocent person.
Wanyato was last year thrown into anoutburst with Zaake after the People Power vice president incessantly interrupted her speech on election violence in the country.
Zaake and Wanyoto were among politicians invited for the launch of a report on election violence in the country by Women’s Democracy Network (WDN) and Innovations for Democratic Engagement and Action (IDEA).
Wanyoto, a panelist at the event, had argued that violence is perpetrated by candidates who are not prepared enough for the campaigns and isn’t sure they will win or not. The youthful Mityana legislator did not wait for her to complete her presentation. He shouted on top of his voice that NRM were perpetrators of violence in Uganda before walking out.
Wanyoto felt undermined by Zaake and accused him of being ill mannered.
She was backed by Emmy Otim, the chief executive officer of Distinct Leadership Consults who also said Zaake was bad-mannered, intolerant and never willing to listen to views of dissent. Mr Otim called Zaake’s conduct immoral.
Zaake the first born of 12 children wasborn on January 12, 1991. He attended St Mary’s Fairway primary school in Mityana for his primary school and St Lawrence schools and colleges Kabaka’s Lake campus, St Lawrence Crown City, Mityana Modern Secondary School and Maryland High School Entebbe for his for secondary school. He completed his degree in Procurement and Logistics Management at Ndejje university.
Some say Zaake is spoilt child, having been born in a well to do family. Zaake’s parents Emmanuel Ssembuusi Butebi and Teddy Naluyima are successful business people in Mityana and Kampala, and raised their son with a sense of entitlement. Zaake however believes he has a cause for which he is fighting and has no regrets in misbehaving to be heard.
He once told Observer newspaper that he joined national politics because he wanted to redeem his area after “the disastrous terms” of previous MPs such as journalist Jerome Ssozi Kaddu Mukasa and before him Augustine Nshimye Ssebuturo and Besweri Mulondo.
“I looked at my community and it was like we never had an MP. For all the 10 years Kaddu Mukasa was in parliament, we never heard from him, whether in parliament or in the constituency. We needed better representation,” Zaake told the weekly Kampala newspaper.
He told the same newspaper that “Fighting a dictatorship isn’t a simple thing. Many of our people tell us that we talk too much and do nothing. Indeed, we have done a lot of talking and government has taken us for granted. We have a kind of parliament where most of the MPs who voted yes can’t even reason with us. It is not a parliament you would have a sane argument. So, for me getting physical when my country’s future is on the line is something I will do over and over again, given the opportunity. I’m not scared of death.”
The remarks above makes one give Zaake a benefit of doubt that he only needs pyscho-treatment to be able to manage the pressure that comes with politics, especially opposition politics in a third world country, but when you actually grew up with a silver spoon in your mouth.
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