The new Speaker for the East African Legislative Assembly (Eala) will be elected today as criticisms mount on the endless crisis which has haunted the regional Parliament.
Ms Margaret Nantongo Zziwa was on Wednesday overwhelmingly ousted as Eala Speaker after being accused by fellow MPs of incompetence, abuse of office, nepotism and intimidation of lawmakers as well as Eala staff. She has repeatedly denied the allegations.
Ms Zziwa, the first female Speaker of the regional Assembly and who has held the position since 2012, becomes the first one to be ousted through a vote of no confidence.
Daily Monitor understands Shem Bageine the State Minister of East African Affairs yesterday convened a meeting to develop consensus on a single candidate to take the speaker’s job.
A source who attended the meeting said Uganda’s EALA chapter had zeroed on Mr Daniel Fred Kidega to vie for the seat.
This was done in an attempt to avoid a semblance of the June 2012 clash in which immediate former Speaker Zziwa tussled it out with her Ugandan counterpart Ms Dora Byamukama.
Four of Uganda’s nine representatives Mike Kennedy Sebalu, Chris Okumu- Opoka, Ms Byamukama and Mr Kidega attended the meeting according to the source.
In the meeting, Ms Byamukama, Opoka and Sebalu were asked to step down for Kidega who is seen as a candidate likely to be embraced by all the other legislators from the region.
Mr Bobi Odiko, the Senior Public Relations Officer, of EALA said that members of the assembly had already picked nomination forms.
“Members have picked forms but we are yet to receive any returns, the vote will be taken tomorrow (Friday) at 3:30 pm.”
The Ugandan chapter will have to hand in nomination forms before a vote which will decide which Ugandan MP presides over Eala for the remaining two-and-half term of Uganda’s mandate is taken.
Meanwhile Ms Zziwa is to challenge her impeachment in the courts of law.
SOURCE: Daily Monitor