The Speaker of Burundi National Assembly Pascal Nyabenda while addressing the 13th meeting of EAC Speakers Forum in Kampala(Ugandan) December 10th, 2019. PHOTO|Burundi Times
Burundi’s speaker of the National Assembly Pascal Nyabenda has on Tuesday December 10th 2019 hand over the chairmanship of the Bureau of the East African Community Speakers Forum after the end of his one year term.
While addressing the 13th meeting of the Bureau of speakers Mr. Nyabenda called on the member states to foster the East African integration which is more people centered than leader-centered.
“Ordinary working East Africans should be allowed to enjoy their rights of free movement, establishment and residence in EAC Partner Sates’ territories,” said the outgoing chairman Pascal Nyabenda.
Mr. Nyabenda said that such rights would be more enjoyed if all remained long-standing non-tariff barriers were removed, “East African peoples and their leaders have a common history and common cultural values they can capitalize on such values and interests to resolve their conflicts and iron out their conflicting points of view. What they need are collective good will, openness and realism,” said Pascal Nyabenda Burundi’s National Assembly Speaker.
During the 13th meeting of the Bureau of East African Community Speakers Forum members raised concern of the lack of commitment from some partner states in the regional integration issues.
“We recently celebrated 20 years anniversary of the EAC but will still have a number of challenges due to commitment of some countries…we haven’t got an explanation as to why the delegation of Rwanda is not even at the games,” said Rebecca Kadaga the Speaker of Uganda’s National Assembly.
Burundi’s handing over the chair to Kenya comes as South Sudan failed to turn up at the Speakers Forum, the Speaker of South Sudan National Assembly Anthony Lino makana was expected to take over from Burundi. The South Sudan National Assembly speaker stepped down from his office last week after allegations were raised against him of fund embezzlement.
South Sudan and Rwanda were the two East African Community member states who didn’t send in their delegation to Kampala for the annual speakers’ meeting.
The Chairmanship of the Bureau of the Speakers’ Forum is conducted on a rotational basis for a one year term, Kenya is expected to chair the Bureau of the speakers until 2020.