EALA virtual sitting currently underway
East African Legislative Assembly, Arusha, Tanzania: November 9th, 2020: EALA has commenced its First Meeting of the Fourth Session via virtual means. The Session which got underway on Friday, November 6th, 2020, runs until November 26th, 2020.
Key highlights of the plenary that is presided over by Speaker, Rt Hon Ngoga Karoli Martin, is a report of the Assembly assessing the implementation of the Common Market Protocol in relation to cross-border trade. The report, whose tabling and debate is timely, looks at the implementation of the key integration pillar (Common Market Protocol) in the wake of the COVID 19 pandemic, which has greatly impacted on the EAC region, the continent and beyond. The report follows a series of the assessment activities undertaken by the regional assembly in all six Partner States in May 2020.
Similarly, on top billing at the session, is debate and possible enactment of the EAC Integrity and Anti-Corruption Bill, 2019. The Bill envisages the promotion of good governance, transparency and accountability in the EAC Organs and Institutions.
The object of the Bill is to promote integrity and ethical values within the Organs and Institutions of the Community; to strengthen the legal framework for preventing and combating corruption in the Community; to provide for co-operation by the national anti-corruption agencies in preventing and combating corruption and related matters.
The Bill further envisages corruption and corrupt practices as undermining effective and efficient utilization of the resources available to the Organs and Institutions of the Community and practices that derail the Community from deepening and widening integration. It is on this score that the Bill is been proposed to strengthen the legal framework for preventing and combating fraud and corruption within the Organs and Institutions of the EAC.
The Bill moved for first reading in February 2019, is in line with Article 6 (d) of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community which states that “the fundamental principles that shall govern the achievement of the objectives of the Community by the Partner States shall include: good governance, including adherence to the principles of democracy, the rule of law, accountability, transparency, social justice, equal opportunities, gender equality, as well as the recognition, promotion and protection of human and people’s rights in accordance with the provisions of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ rights”.
Presently, the frameworks that exist to prevent corruption within the Organs and Institutions of the Community are the EAC Staff Rules and Regulations and the EAC Anti-Corruption Policy 2006. According to the mover of the Bill, Hon Victor Burikukiye, there is need to have deterrent sanctions to prevent persons in the service of the Community from engaging in the vice. The proposed Bill among other things, specifies the ethical conduct required of persons in service in the Community, defines the specific acts and practices of corruption and make such triable in appropriate courts in the Partner States.
Other key highlights of the 3- week sitting include a report of the Committee on General Purpose on the EAC Annual Report for the Financial Year 2016/17 and a Report of the Committee on Agriculture, Tourism and Natural Resources on the on-spot assessment of the activities of the Lake Victoria Basin Commission. A number of Motions and Resolutions are also expected to be tabled and or/debated at the three-week sitting.
All six standing Committees of the House meet this week to fine-tune various reports currently within their ambit. Friday last week, the Committee on Legal Rules and Privileges kicked off the process meeting to consider the report for the amendment of the Rules of Procedure of the Assembly, whose debate is pending, before the House.
For more information, please contact:
Senior Public Relations Officer
East African Legislative Assembly
Cell: +255-787-870945, +254-733-718036
Email: BOdiko [at] eachq.org
About the East African Legislative Assembly
The East African Legislative Assembly is the Legislative Organ of the East African Community. Its Membership consists of a total of 62, of whom 54 are elected Members (9 from each Partner State) and eight ex-officio members (the Ministers responsible for EAC Affairs from the Partner States, the Secretary General of the Community and the Counsel to the Community).
The East African Legislative Assembly has legislative functions as well as oversight of all East African Community matters. The enactment of legislation of the Community is put in effect by means of Bills passed by the Assembly and assented to by the Heads of State, and every Bill that has been duly passed and assented to become an Act of the Community and takes precedent over similar legislations in the Partner States. EALA has to date passed over 80 pieces of legislation.