President Yoweri Museveni has confirmed that today’s East African Community Heads of State Summit with meant to take place in Arusha Tanzania was pushed to next month.
The 20th regional summit, which was called off after the arrival President Museveni as well as his Kenyan and Tanzanian counterparts in Arusha, was among others meant to discuss the status of the resolution of the long outstanding non-tariff barriers and the progress report on the adoption of the Political Confederation as a transitional model of the East African Political Federation.
It was cancelled due to the absence of representation from Burundi.
Museveni told a press conference in Arusha this afternoon, “We decided to cancel today’s meeting because one of our federation members, Burundi did not show up.”
Burundi had earlier written to the EAC Secretariat asking for a two weeks postponement of the summit, because they wouldn’t be able to make it on Friday.
President Museveni who is the current chairman of the EAC however, decided to proceed in the absence of Burundi, and indeed traveled to Arusha.
At the press conference however, he revealed that proceeding without Burundi would be going against the Community’s own constitution.
“The constitution of the EAC requires us to have one meeting every year, — which was today’s meeting –; but also that for every decision we make, everybody has to be present,” Museveni told press.
“If therefore one of us is absent, it is not good to proceed. That goes against the constitution of the EAC.”
The meeting, Museveni revealed, was pushed to December 27th, when they expect all members to be present, including Rwandan President Paul Kagame, who was today attending the G20 Summit in Argentina.