The newly elected East African Legislative Assembly [EALA] Speaker Hon Dan Kidega is expected to preside over the first sitting of the regional assembly today afternoon.
Hon Kidega, also a former MP of the Ugandan Parliament was elected mid last month as head the East African parliament, replacing Hon Margret Natongo Zziwa who was toppled by members for misconduct and dictatorship.
Rt. Hon Kidega was elected unopposed after his main contender, Hon Chris Opoka- Okumu stepped down. The two were the only ones validly nominated.
After the festive season, the Legislative Assembly resumes business today by holding its Plenary in Arusha, Tanzania.
The Plenary is expected to run to Friday, January 30, 2015 and it is the Fourth Meeting of the Third Session of the Third Assembly.
In his acceptance remarks after his election, Rt. Hon Kidega underscored the need to clear the pending bills and backlog of other legislative business.
“My administration will move with haste to tackle the backlog and to introduce new business for the Assembly. The Council of Ministers has also assured me of their support and we expect a number of Council Bills to be brought forth for deliberation this year”, Rt. Hon Kidega said.
Officials at the parliament reveal that the EAC Supplementary Budget for the Financial Year 2014/2015 is one of the key issues on top of the agenda during the two week plenary. Another key Bill expected before the House is the EAC Co-operatives Societies Bill, 2013.
The EALA will also debate and adopt a number of Reports. The Report of the Committee on Regional Affairs and Conflict Resolution and the African Leadership Centre on the Conference on East African Societies and Regional Security and that of the Inter-Parliamentary Forum on Population, Health and Investment shall be debated.
Also on the cards at the forthcoming Sitting is the election of Committee Chairs and the EALA Commission which is the decision making body of the Assembly. This follows the expiry of term of tenure last year.
Meanwhile Mrs Nantongo Zziwa who was thrown out of the House in December, had announced plans to challenge the decision in court.
But while meeting speaker of Uganda Parliament Hon Revecca Kadaga earlier this month, Speaker Kidega said Zziwa had every right to go ahead and seek court redress.
“It is her right of opinion and the East Africa Court of Justice is handling that,” he said.