Burundi calls for suspension of EAC staff recruitment 

Burundi's EAC minister Ezechiel Nibigira called on the EAC secretariat to call off the ongoing recruitment process. PHOTO| BurundiTimes.

Burundi has this Monday October 18th wrote a letter to the East African Community Secretary General Peter Mathuki informing Gitega’s decision to suspend attendance of the Interviewing Panels for the remaining shortlisted candidates for the various advertised positions at the EAC Organs and Institutions, that was scheduled to take place this Monday 18th October 2021, to 2nd November, 2021.

Burundi’s minister for East African Community Affairs Ezechiel Nibigira said in a letter that his country took the decision of not attending the planned Panels due to some irregularities.

“The ongoing recruitment process does not guaranty the implementation of the Quota System within the EAC since this has not been clarified before the said process begins. The EAC Secretariat should have clarified in advance how many positions returns to each EAC Partner State,” part of the letter addressed to the EAC Secretary General reads. 

The staff rules and regulations requires that the recruitment of staff will be done by quota system which provides that partner states must have points for its citizens to be considered as eligible candidates.

On 29th September, 2021 the Republic of Burundi wrote a letter to the EAC Secretary General requesting the implementation of the directive of the 39th Meeting of the Council of Ministers directing that the Republic of Burundi should be given priority for all subsequent/forthcoming staff recruitment. 

“No reaction to this letter has been made until now…this letter therefore is to inform you about the above captioned Decision and request you to ensure the implementation of the Quota System before the ongoing recruitment process proceeds,” letter from Burundi minister for EAC affairs reads.

This comes after last week Uganda and South Sudan called for the suspension of the ongoing recruitment process of the EAC Organs and institutions.

The East African Legislative Assembly suspended a plenary last Wednesday October 13th for the second time due to lack of quorum after a motion was tabled to halt the ongoing EAC staff recruitment process which has led to the division of law makers.

Earlier on Tuesday Uganda’s law maker Denis Namara moved a motion to suspend the ongoing recruitment process sighting it violated the principles and objectives of the integration.

The controversy is centered on the recruitment of the clerk of the assembly and his deputy. The Ugandan law makers argue that Alex Lumumba Obatre a Ugandan candidate scored the highest marks against competitor Saidi Othman Yakubu from Tanzania.

In a letter dated October 15th, 2021 the Ugandan first deputy prime minister and minister for East African Community Affairs Rebecca Kadaga sent a letter to the EAC Secretary General Peter Mathuki calling for the postponement of the interviews for the shortlisted candidates for the various EAC Organs and Institutions.

In her letter the Ugandan minister said that the planned interviews should be suspended until the Secretariat submits the available quarter points for each Partner State as at the time/date of advertising the above jobs.

Uganda’s position was backed by South Sudan as Juba Chapter wants affirmative action applied so that South Sudanese benefit the way Rwanda and Burundi did upon joining the bloc. Dr Mathuki, in a letter dated October 13 acknowledged their quest and promised to act on it.

On the suspension of the interviews and the ongoing recruitment process, the EAC Secretary General while replying to a letter addressed to him by Uganda minister for EAC affairs said that the preparations for the in the interviews were in place and tickets for panelists have been purchased and sent. 

“The quota points shall adequately be addressed during the final selection/ appointment by the council.”

The East African Legislative Assembly is expected to resume business tomorrow Tuesday October 19th, with same issues expected to be addressed.


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