The East African Community Legislative Assembly (EALA) suspended the sitting on Thursday after the East African Community ministers didn’t show up for the sitting that was expected to table bills including the East African Community Financial Services Commission bill 2022.
“There is a tendency from either the council or whoever responsible that is trying to play with the assembly…if these bills are not there this house will not proceed,” said the South Sudan member Kennedy Mukulia.
The reactions came after last week only one council member Ezekiel Nibigira was physically present during the sitting as he represented the council chair from Kenya who resigned following the upcoming national elections in Kenya.
“We cannot allow and we will not accept council to the community to stand for the council of ministers…if the ministers are not here let us not proceed with anything so that we send them a message as the ex officio they have to be here,” said Maryam Ussi a law maker from Tanzania.
The East African Legislative Assembly law makers said that absence of the six council of ministers means that no business can be conducted and that the sitting should be suspended until next week.
As if the council disown their won bill is it a vote of no confidence? No member of council is here and the narrative outside there is that members of EALA are not up to their task. As long as we don’t speak our case no one will speak for us. It is one of the lowest moments of the assembly. Arusha has become a grave yard of our legislative,” said George Odongo EALA member from Uganda.
The community is still lagging behind to meet the 2024 deadline for the East African Community to fully implement the Monetary Union protocol as an udit report indicated that still institutions are yet to be established in order to fully implement the third pillar of the EAC integration which is the monetary union.
“These members are ready to sit the whole year and sacrifice for the people of East African but for only ministers to fail the people of East Africa in their cries to be served,” said Aden Abdikadir a law maker from Kenya who was the acting speaker in the absence of Rwanda’s Martin Ngoga the speaker of EALA.
The Audit Commission found that four Monetary Union Institution Bills are pending, two of the bills are yet to be assented to by Heads of State and two other bills are being reviewed by the sectoral council on legal and judicial affairs.
East African Legislative Assembly have now pointed fingers to the council of ministers for stalling their business and bureaucracy towards passing the pending bills for the community to achieve its goals.
The next EALA sitting is expected to take place on March, 1st, 2022 and members cautioned that the business will only be conducted in the presence of the ministers.
The South Sudan minister remains the only ex officio yet to take part in any sitting in the regional assembly since Juba joined the community in April 2016.