Q and A with the EALA Speaker Joseph Ntakirutimana on the state of the Regional Assembly

Joseph Ntakirutimana the East African Legislative Assembly Speaker in Arusha, Tanzania. PHOTO| BurundiTimes.

Joseph Ntakirutimana is the East African Legislative Assembly Speaker who took over the office in December 2022, he spoke to BurundiTimes in Arusha, Tanzania on the state of the Regional Assembly ahead of his 5 year tenure.

What were your expectation on taking over as the EALA Speaker?

When I took over I was expecting an EALA without any challenges but now since am in we are facing those challenges and we hope will overcome. We are now seven partner states but there is no increment on the budget despite the increase of member states but I hope we will overcome.

What are the major priorities during your tenure as an EALA speaker to better the parliament?

This EALA has to be visible and known in member states, and we plan to work closely with National Parliaments so that we can be working together in harmonizing our bills and laws. We want to make the best community in Africa and working together with national parliaments will be of much importance.

As an EALA speaker what do you think needs to be done for the pending Bills to be assented by the summit?

When we pass the bill it is our mandate we can’t push them (Summit), we believe from their wisdom they know when the appropriate time comes and they will assent. We keep being positive that they will do it in time.

EALA has been calling for the autonomy for long time, what is the current state?

This is the only parliament that is not autonomous, we addressed this challenge to the summit, and it has been many years since the proposal. You know every time you have to go to address yourself to the secretariat even if you want to buy a pen or a paper and yet this is an oversight organ. We have met with Secretariat, the council of ministers and the summit so we are optimistic we are going to get the autonomy in terms of finance and administration. Because lack of Autonomy has led to the delay of Assembly’s business.

How is the delayed remittance of funds affect assembly’s business?

What can you do when you don’t have money? We have been postponing our meetings, deleting some of our activities. But we are engaging all stakeholders and we are optimistic that tomorrow will be better.

What is the EAC you want to see during your tenure?

The EAC and EALA I want to see is a place where all East Africans live in harmony and peace, we see conflicts happening between some partner States these are issues we need to resolve. I want to see a community where Human Rights is respected, where there is free movement of people, goods and services, where East Africans have enough food. So all what I plan, I do it with the aim of archiving the aforementioned.


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