The East African Community Budget for the financial year 2020-21 has yet again failed to sail through on Thursday December 10, 2020 as regional law makers differed with member states on the budget allocation, with law makers walking out of the plenary leading to the issue of quorum resulting to the adjournment of the house until further notice.
On 30 September, 2020 the East African Legislative Assembly passed the budget estimates amounting to $104 million via the virtual sitting, however the Budget could not be assented by the EAC summit citing some reservations made by Burundi and Tanzania.
“The contentious issue was the issue of the number of days of the EALA session to remain at 14 days and not 21 days so member states were not in agreement on that,” said the chair of the Council of Minister and Rwanda’s state minister for EAC Manasseh Nshuti.
According to Mr. Manasseh member states of the republic of Burundi and Tanzania didn’t agree for the regional assembly to extend the number of days of the session from 14 to 21 despite meeting the sealing of the budget allocated for the organ.
“I beg that we pass the budget and any other request be submitted through the supplementary budget,” he added.
However the regional lawmakers argued that it was the parliament’s role to appropriate the budget of the community, “Parliament is here to look at the budget of the community and we had issues with the council we finished and it has been a long process so no one should be misinformed about this being disregarding the law,” said EALA law maker Aden Abdikadir.
According to the Treaty Establishing the EAC Article 132:5 indicates that “the resources of the Community shall be utilised to finance activities of the Community as shall be determined by the Assembly on the recommendation of the Council.”
Under the budget that EALA passed in September, the EAC Secretariat was to receive USD 48,418,301, while the East African Legislative Assembly gets USD 23,067,137. The East African Court of Justice is expected to benefit from the kitty, earning USD 4,198,406.
“We have all this behind politics because we have received objections from partner states we as members let us have a historic decision because my country’s position will always be my position,” said a Burundian law maker Jean Marie Muhirwa.
According to the EAC treaty Article 132(7) indicates that the financial year of the Community shall run from 1st July to 30th June, however until December,11 the EAC budget is yet to be passed almost six months late.