The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, has warned that the 20 year old East African Community (EAC) risks stagnation if member states continue failing to pay their mandated annual subscription fees.
Kadaga, who was speaking at the 13th Meeting of the Bureau of Speakers of the EAC and the East African Legislative Assembly, appealed to colleagues to task their ministers of finance to ensure that partner states live up to their mandate.
“The 20 years are coming with challenges; the burden of contribution to the Community has been left mainly to Uganda and Kenya, and this is hampering work,” she said.
The 13th Meeting of the Bureau of Speakers of the EAC and the East African Legislative Assembly was held at Kampala Serena Hotel on Tuesday 10 December 2019.
The Meeting was attended by speakers from Kenya, Burundi, Tanzania, Uganda and the East African Legislative Assembly.
The speakers expressed displeasure at Rwanda and South Sudan for being uncooperative when it comes to integration activities such as the East African Parliamentary games, with Rwanda missing two consecutive editions without an explanation.
Uganda is hosting the 10th edition of EAC inter-parliamentary games from 8 to 18 December 2019.
“I have not received an explanation why Rwanda has not participated in the games, they did not even participate in the games we had in Burundi in 2018; they are not part of CECAFA,” said Kadaga.
CECAFA, the Council for East and Central Africa Football Associations tournament is currently being held in Kampala.
South Sudan did not give an explanation or even send a representative to the Bureau of Speakers’ meeting. Burundi Speaker, Hon. Pascal Nyabenda, said that the absence of South Sudan may be partly explained by the abrupt resignation of the country’s Speaker, Anthony Makana.
In a similar development, the Deputy Speaker of Parliament of Tanzania Dr. Tulia Ackson, implored her counterparts to take deliberate actions to uplift member states with poor performing economies, saying that integration will not yield much if regional imbalances are not mitigated.
The Bureau of Speakers of East African Community comprises of Speakers and Deputy Speakers of all member states and is currently chaired by the Speaker of Parliament of Kenya, Justin Muturi, who assumed chairmanship on Tuesday, 10 December 2019.