OP-ed: Zaake’s Loss Of Parliamentary Commission Position Lesson To Social Media Misusers

Kampala: The removal of Mityana Municipality Member of Parliament from the parliamentary commission should send a signal to people who misuse social media to malign others.

The misusers of these social media platforms whose mainly is to vilify and disparage others- your time may soon come when those tweets or Facebook posts are used against you.

You may not suffer the same fate of losing a job like Zaake but such posts can be brought against you in future you when you least expect it.

Such ugly evidence can be brought at the time when you are appearing before an interview panel for a job you badly need.

When Zaake was busy tweeting and attacking the person of Deputy Speaker, he didn’t have it mind that his offensive language would cause him trouble.

He has now lost a key position of being one of the nine Commissioners who run the administration of Parliament. Zaake was one of the four backbenchers who sit on the Commission which has nine members with the Speaker as the chairperson.

Some of these people who use abusive language on social media have become insensitive to the extent that they see these foul attacks as “a normal thing” in the name of having a right to express their views.

Even Zaake had first underestimated but later realized it wasn’t business as usual after Parliament adopted the report of the Committee of Rules, Discipline and Privileges with amendments presented by Chairperson Abdu Katuntu.

The MPs say he insulted the integrity of Parliament by using offensive language to an effort to express his dissatisfaction with the Deputy Speaker’s statement in which she said that despite being tortured, he was able to a win a running competition in the neighbouring Tanzania during the East African Legislative Assembly.

The MPs say he breached Rules 84 and 85 of the Rules of Procedure and Paragraph 5 of the Code of Conduct of Members.

In his report, Abdu Katuntu said that Zaake did not protect the integrity of Parliament but instead his conduct brought the entire Parliament and its leadership into disrepute.

He added that Zaake’s statements lowered the esteem of the institution of Parliament in the eyes of the citizens who ought to look up to their leaders.

To show disapproval to the unbecoming behavior of Zaake, out of 161 members of Parliament, 155 MPs voted to remove Zaake from the Parliament Commission while only four MPs voted against the proposal to remove Zaake. There were two invalid votes registered.

The vote followed intense debate of the report of the committee that found Zaake in breach of public trust and confidence.

With the National Party Platform [NUP] going to court to challenge the removal of Zaake’s, it will be up to decide whether the process followed the law.

The story of Zaake’s fate could be singular now but many more are face it if they continue using social media to insult and abuse.

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