Ugandan legislator Daniel Kidega has become new EALA Speaker

ARUSHA, Tanzania (Xinhua) — Ugandan legislator Daniel Kidega on Friday was named and sworn in as the new Speaker of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA), replacing Margaret Nantongo Zziwa who was impeached three days ago.


Zziwa was impeached after being accused by fellow EALA members of incompetence, abuse of office, nepotism and intimidation of lawmakers as well as EALA staff.
Kidega’s new post is one of the highest in the East African Community, taking into account that EALA is the apex decision making and lawmaking body in the region of more than 130 million people.

Being unopposed in the election, he was named after his rival Chris Okumu Opoka also from Uganda withdrawn from contesting.

In his new post, Kidega will be responsible for directing all activities of the House and its committees.

As Speaker, he will also preside over the proceedings of the regional legislative body under the EALA Rules of Procedure.

Following Wednesday’s removal of Zziwa from office, Uganda was given 48 hours to fill the position, a demand that was duly fulfilled on Friday.

The former Speaker was not around at the EAC premises at the time of the censure which saw 36 out of 39 members vote in favor of her impeachment.Zziwa had served in that position for three and a half years and she took over from her successor Abdirahin Abdi from Kenya.

Zziwa’s impeachment means she remains an ordinary EALA member until 2017 when the term of the current assembly expires.

According to the EALA’s arrangement, the Speaker is responsible for opening, suspending and closing sitting, ensuring observance of the EALA Rules of Procedure, maintaining order in the House, calling upon members to participate in the proceedings, closing debates, putting matters to vote and announcing the results of votes, and referring to committees any business that concern them.