Legislators of the East African Legislative assembly convened again this Monday in Arusha Tanzania.
During today’s session, Hon Dr Woda Jeremiah moved a motion to introduce a Bill on livestock to provide for coordinate identification, characterization & mapping of livestock, strengthen detection, prevention and control of trans-boundary animal diseases and enhance the livelihood of pastoralists in EAC.
However, the house presided over by the speaker Martin Ngoga adjourned deliberations until Tuesday.
Meanwhile, last week on Wednesday the house debated and adopted the EAC Annual Report for the Financial Year 2016/17.
But the regional Assembly reiterated the timely presentation of the critical (Annual) report as espoused by Article 49(2) (c) and Article 59 (3) (a) of the Treaty for the Establishment of the EAC.
Consequently, and in related matters, the EALA wants the EAC Council of Ministers to hasten the formation of the Committee on Trade matters and remedies so as to be in synch with the requisite trio requirements of the EAC Treaty, Customs Management Act and the Customs Union Protocol.
In addition, the Assembly urged the EAC Council of Ministers to speed up the comprehensive amendment of the Customs Law.
Presenting the report, Hon Eng Pamela Maassay, representing the substantive Chair of the General Purpose Committee, Hon Dennis Namara, said despite several requests by the Assembly and calls by the Private Sector to amend the Customs Management Act, nothing had been done, 15 years later.
“The failure or deliberate attempt by the Ministers to heed the call for comprehensive amendment of the EAC Customs Management Act undermines the integration process and continues to negatively impact the implementation of the Customs Union and the Common Market Protocols”, Hon Maassay said.
The Assembly noted the progress made by the Community since implementation of the pillars of integration begun – but stated that some challenges also continued to be realized.
“Since the coming into force of the Customs Union and Common Market Protocols, a lot of achievements have been registered under the two pillars of the EAC integration. Nonetheless, the full implementation of these pillars has not been realized due lack of commitment by the Partner States”, Hon Maassay informed the House.
Nevertheless, the Committee expressed concern with existing delays in the finalization adoption, ratification and implementation of protocols on Good Governance, Preventing and Combating Corruption and EAC Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Management Strategy.
“There is no clear information of the status of implementation of Metrology Bill Standardization, Accreditation and Conformity Assessment Bill, finalization and adoption of the EAC African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) Strategy, Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA), Lake Victoria Transport Act among others”, Hon Maassay added.
With regards to election observation missions, the Assembly suggested that in future, the said reports be presented to the House for consideration.
“The Election Observation Mission Reports are important documents that give recommendations on how a particular Partner State needs to streamline electoral processes and strengthen good governance. The Assembly being a key stakeholder in the promotion of good governance in the region deserves to be briefed or informed about such processes. Therefore, the Council of Ministers should keep the Assembly abreast with the outcome of Presidential Elections in the region by laying on Table the Election Observation Mission Reports”, Hon Maassay said.
Those who rose in support of the report were Hon Oda Gasinzigwa, Hon Amb Ndangiza Fatuma, Hon Chris Nduwayo, Hon Kennedy Kalonzo, Hon Jean Claude Barimuyabo, Hon Alex Bahati and Hon Rose Akol. Others were Hon Gideon Gatpan, Hon Francoise Umuwukiza, Hon Dr Oburu Oginga, Hon Pierre Celestin Rwigema, Hon Mary Mugyenyi and Hon Mohammed Mnyaa.
The EAC Annual Report for the year 2016/17 was laid on Table by the Chairperson, Council of Ministers on the 7th March 2019. Accordingly, the Rt. Hon. Speaker referred the report to the Committee on General Purpose for consideration. In the exercise of its oversight mandate, the Committee on General Purpose convened meetings on 13th – 16th October 2019 in Nairobi, Kenya and 26th November 2019 at the EAC Headquarters in Arusha, United Republic of Tanzania to consider the EAC Annual Report and present its report to this august House for adoption.