Lawyers representing Mityana Municipality Legislator Francis Zaake have initiated the cross-examination of witnesses in a case where the MP stands accused of misconduct during a parliamentary sitting on December 7, 2022. The legal proceedings, which commenced on November 8, are shedding light on the allegations that have gripped the attention of the public and the political sphere.
Erias Lukwago, the attorney representing MP Zaake, expressed astonishment at the belated presentation of crucial evidence in the form of footage, which was only recently made available to the defense team after the inquiry had already commenced. Lukwago’s reaction underscores the significance of the evidence in question and its potential impact on the proceedings.
The Rules, Discipline, and Privilege Committee of Parliament initiated the investigation into the second case against MP Zaake, focusing on allegations that he violated the procedural rules of the House by displaying disrespect towards Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa.
Chaired by MP Abdu Katuntu, the committee began the proceedings by meticulously reviewing CCTV footage capturing the chaos that unfolded when MP Zaake insisted on addressing the matter of missing persons on the parliamentary floor without obtaining prior clearance from the Speaker, as stipulated by the rules.
During the cross-examination phase, Zaake’s lawyer, Erias Lukwago, directed inquiries towards Hansard Editor Moses Bwalatum. Lukwago delved into questions about Bwalatum’s appointment to the position and raised concerns about the alleged tampering with the Speaker’s communication that referred Zaake to the Rules Committee.
In addition to scrutinizing the Hansard Editor, the legal team cross-examined additional witnesses, including the former DPC of Parliament. The current DPC clarified the former’s absence, citing his resignation from the force as the reason for non-participation in the proceedings.
The investigation into Zaake’s alleged misconduct is poised to continue this Thursday, with anticipation building over the revelations and testimonies that may further shape the trajectory of this high-profile case. As the legal proceedings unfold, the public remains vigilant, awaiting a resolution to the allegations that have cast a shadow over the conduct of one of Uganda’s parliamentarians.
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