The East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) today resumed its 2nd Meeting of the 3rd Session in Arusha, Tanzania. The three-week Session which runs until December 6th, 2019, commenced with Committee engagements prior to the actual Plenary Sitting.
Topping the agenda at the Sitting is the debate and enactment of the EAC Anti-Corruption Bill, 2019, that seeks among other things, at providing impetus in order to promote 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 that corruption and corrupt practices undermine the effective and efficient utilization of the resources available to the Organs and Institutions of the Community and 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.
In February this year, the Chairperson of the Committee on Regional Affairs and Conflict Resolution, Hon Victor Burikukiye, moved a motion under Rule 26 (1) and Rule 64 (9), seeking leave from the Assembly to introduce the Bill.
Hon. Burikukiye underlined 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.
Also on the agenda for consideration at this session, are a number of reports that emanate from workings of various Committees. The report of the Committee on Legal Rules and Privileges on Compliance of Laws is set to be considered. This follows activities of the Committee undertaken on October 9th -12th, 2019, in Kampala, Uganda, where the Committee held consultations with a host of institutions inter alia, the Inter-University Council for East Africa (IUCEA), the Civil Aviation Safety and Security Oversight Agency (CASSOA), Lake Victoria Fisheries Organization (LVFO) and the East African Development Bank (EADB).
Similarly, to be presented to the House for debate, is a report of the Committee on Communication, Trade and Investments on the One Area Network Within the health sector, as the region puts out all arsenal in containing the deadly EBOLA virus, the Assembly is to receive a report by the Committee on General Purpose on the oversight activity that sought to assess the level of preparedness of Partner States in management of EBOLA and Dengue Fever outbreaks.
The assessment took place in the Republics of Rwanda and Uganda and in the United Republic of Tanzania between September 12-16th, 2019. The Committee on General Purpose, is also set to table its report on the EAC Annual Report 2016/17, which it reviewed recently.
Other significant issues at the forthcoming Plenary are key meetings with different stakeholders including participation at the East African Business Summit, organized by the East.