The EAC recruitment drive risks being derailed following opposition by Uganda, Burundi and South Sudan.
The EAC Secretariat, early this year, advertised at least 60 vacant positions.
In a letter dated October 18, Uganda’s East African Community Affairs minister Rebecca Kadaga said the interviews for the advertised positions should not be conducted “unless and until all the partner states have been given information about their quota”.
“I would like to remind you Secretary General that compliance with Article 14(3) (g) of the Treaty, the Council issued rules and regulations in particular regulation 4.6, which provides ‘At the beginning of each recruitment exercise, the Secretariat shall inform each partner about her balance of weighted points’”.
“The operative word is ‘At the beginning’ and this cannot be shifted to any other stage of the recruitment,” Kadaga, who doubles as Uganda’s deputy prime minister, said in the letter to secretary general Peter Mathuki.
Kadaga said once the partner states are informed about their quotas, it will eliminate countries that have exhausted their quotas and are therefore ineligible to participate.
“I need not remind you that one of the reasons for the previous collapse of the old East African Community was disappropriate sharing of benefits of the community among partner states,” she added.
Last week, Ugandan lawmakers staged walkouts due to what they termed an unfair process.
On the same day, October 18, Burundi’s EAC minister Ezechiel Nibigia wrote to Mathuki, saying his country had suspended attendance of the interviewing panels for the advertised EAC positions.
The interviews were slotted for October 18 to November 2.
“The ongoing recruitment process does not guarantee the implementation of the quota system within EAC since this has not been clarified before the said process begins,” Amb Nibigia said.
The quota system is captured in the EAC regulations to ensure and reflect equal representation of partner states.
South Sudan has also expressed dissatisfaction.
“We and the Ugandan chapter are concerned about the unfairness of the recruitment process. The quota system has not been used, so we want the recruitment process to stop so that it can start correctly,” Dr Anne Itto Leonardo, who replaced Juba MPs chair Thomas Dut Gatkek, told The EastAfrican.
The Juba chapter wants affirmative action applied so that South Sudanese benefit the way Rwanda and Burundi did upon joining the bloc.
Mathuki, in a letter dated October 13, acknowledged their quest and promised to act on it.
An extraordinary Council of Ministers meeting scheduled for last Wednesday, which was expected to finalise the staff recruitment process, had to be moved to a later date, perhaps in the next week, at the prompting of Kadaga, who had reportedly travelled.
Mathuki had on August 11, while marking his first 100 days in office, highlighted unlocking staff recruitment standoff “as one of his achievements. He said the process was in full gear. It now appears not.
In a statement on October 19, Mathuki said the interviews for the positions could not commence as scheduled due to lack of quorum.
“The interviews have therefore been postponed to a later date that will be communicated accordingly. The EAC is committed to providing an equal opportunity for all East Africans,” Mathuki said.
The 42nd Extra-Ordinary Meeting of the EAC Council of Ministers in May approved the filling of the vacant positions in organs and Institutions through competitive recruitment.
Consequently, the EAC Secretariat initiated the recruitment on May 19 by advertising the posts.
“More than 15,000 applications were received from all the six EAC partner states. All EAC partner states’ delegates profiled/sorted and subsequently shortlisted candidates,” Mathuki said in the October 19 statement.
Some regional lawmakers have alleged the process was marred with irregularities and unfair treatment of citizens from some partner states.
Uganda Airforce strikes ADF Bases in DRC
Allied Democratic Front ADF rebels have suffered aerial bombardment and artillery fire power from Uganda and Congolese forces, local media in DRC said.
“This morning, we launched joint air and artillery strikes against ADF camps with our Congolese allies,” the Ugandan army said.
However, Patrick Muyaya the Congolese Government spokesman has denied presence of Ugandan troops on DRC territory. “the Ugandan army is not on Congolese soil.”
Yet the spokesperson of the Ugandan army said Tuesday, November 30 that the armed forces of their country have launched military air operations jointly with the FARDC. He specifies that the two forces “launched air strikes” against the positions of the ADF.
This intervention comes after President Félix Tshisekedi “granted” the Ugandan army authorization to enter the territory of the DRC to “fight against armed groups, in particular the Ugandan rebels of the ADF”.
President Tshisekedi is dedicated to restoring order and peace in troubled Eastern region of DRC that has for decades suffered attacks from foreign rebel groups.
To achieve this objective, Patrick Muyaya warns that “it is within this framework that we work on a regular basis, with the Armies of neighboring countries. we exchange intelligence information on a regular basis.”
“Today we all face the same threat called Allied Democratic Forces (Adf). You have seen that on November 16, they struck in the middle of Kampala (Ugandan capital) and they strike regularly in the DRC ”, he concludes.
East African Crude Oil Pipeline Activities Complete-Museveni
President Samia Suluhu Hassan of Tanzania and President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda are currently in the Daresalaam for an Oil and Gas Symposium at the Julius Nyerere International Convention Centre.
The symposium which off on Saturday has drawn hundreds of delegates while others are attending virtually owing to covid-19 prevention measures.
On the agenda are discussions on the ongoing activities on the East African Crude Oil Pipeline, as well as other oil and gas projects.
There will also be an emphasis on pushing national participation and promoting local content as a channel to economic development in the two countries.
According to details the construction of this Crude Oil Pipeline will cost U$600million.
“The East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) project is a good durable business, it will create jobs for a lot of sectors,” President Museveni said during his presentation.
“I am happy to tell Tanzanians, Ugandans, and the world that the activities on the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) are complete,” Museveni said.
According to details the construction phase is expected to generate 14,000 directs jobs, 45,000 indirect jobs by the contractors, and induced employment of another 105,000 people as a result of utilization of other services by the oil and gas sector
Production is expected to reach a plateau of 230,000 barrels per day. That’s higher than the output of Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, two of Africa’s OPEC members.
In April, President Samia and President Museveni signed the pipeline deal which both leaders described as victory for the two countries.
Partners will develop the Tilenga and Kingfisher discoveries near Lake Albert in Uganda.
The Ugandan pipeline section covers 296km. This pipeline will transport Uganda’s waxy crude for export at the port of Tanga in Tanzania.
The Tanzanian pipeline section from the border town of Mutukula to Chongoleani terminal in Tanga at the Indian Ocean is 1,443km.
The shareholding structure, as detailed in the Shareholders Agreement, which defines the rights and responsibilities of the shareholders in the pipeline company is; Uganda through Unoc with 15%, Total Holdings International B.V. with 62%, Tanzania through its national oil company, TPDC, with 15%, and Cnooc with 8%.
EALA Legislators Vote To Amend Election Act
The period of electing members of the East African Legislative assembly may be extended from the current 90 days to six months.
MPs of the East African Legislative assembly have overwhelmingly supported a motion that seeks to amend the EALA election act to extend the period in which elections should be conducted.
They want the election to be conducted within six months instead of three.
The MPs say the amendment will allow the National parliament more time to prepare for the election before the expiry of the term.
Tanzania’s representative Adam Kimbisa and Fancy Nkuhi moved the motion.
PART II: Why Is Uganda Provocative, Disrespectful?
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