The Mityana Municipality MP, Francis Zaake, has defended himself against allegations of threatening Makerere University Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, arguing that the ongoing investigations are aimed at diverting the public’s attention from what happened during the strike at the university.
Zaake, who appeared before Parliament’s Committee on Rules, Privileges and Discipline, said that the recent strike at Makerere exposed the poor administration and management at the University and the torture of students by armed forces, which are being shielded from scrutiny by the investigation.
“To the best of my knowledge I did not behave in a non-parliamentary manner, I did not threaten him [Prof. Nawangwe], I took the opportunity to put across queries I had wanted to ask during the committee meeting but was denied a chance,” Zaake said during the meeting held on Wednesday 18 December 2019.
He said that because he was denied chance to put across his queries to the VC during the meeting, he used the opportunity after the meeting to express his concerns to him who he said was even smiling during their interaction.
Committee Chairperson, Hon. Clement Ongalo-Obote wondered why Zaake would want to engage Nawangwe after a committee meeting, when such engagements do not form part of the committee report.
“What did you want to achieve by expressing your interests to the professor after the meeting? If you were not satisfied with the committee proceedings, our Rules allow you to write your concerns in a minority report and present it after the majority report,” he said.
Zaake appealed to the committee disregard the testimony of Prof. Nawangwe who he said has no evidence to allegations, but was advised by the chairperson Obote-Ongalo that the committee report will be guided by the testimonies of all witnesses.
During the day’s plenary sitting, the Committee requested and was granted more time to finalise with their investigations and report.
The Committee is now expected to report to the plenary in January 2020.