National parliaments key for EAC integration says EALA

ARUSHA, TANZANIA–Speaker of East African Legislative Assembly (EALA), Rt Hon Martin Ngoga has pledged EALA’s continued collaboration with respective Partner States’ Parliaments to bring integration closer to the people.

This, the Speaker says is not just an obligation as stipulated for under the Treaty for the Establishment of the EAC but a concomitant desire by the Assembly to ensure citizens fully embrace the economic bloc.

Rt Hon Ngoga says deeper and more frequent consultation with respective Partner States’ Parliamentary Committees is of the essence.

The Speaker made the remarks while meeting separately with two key Parliamentary Committees of the Parliament of Uganda and Parliament of Kenya respectively.

At the meeting with Uganda’s Parliamentary Committee on Commissions, Statutory Committees and Public Enterprises (COSASE), the Speaker reiterated the need for effective oversight of public enterprises and corporations saying such institutions contributed to the success or failure of governance and in the utilization of efficient public resources for economic prosperity.

The leader of the delegation, Hon Hood Katuramu reiterated the need for the pursuit of monetary policy in the region, and lauded EALA for the decision to table the East African Monetary Institute Bill, 2017 and the EAC Statistics Bureau Bill 2017, both of which sailed through the First Reading at the recent Sitting in Kampala (2nd Sitting of the 1st Session). Hon Katuramu further termed peace and security as the hallmark for progress saying it would enable the region to think about progress.   The Meeting was attended by eight Members of the Committee and two staff Members.

The Speaker also held consultation with the Select Committee of the Regional Integration Committee of the Kenya National Assembly. Senator Janet Ongera led the delegation.  The Speaker informed Members that EALA had continued in its quest to pass relevant legislation that strengthen the integration process and said the Parliaments were key stakeholders to be consulted at the public hearings and prior to enactment of Bills.

The Members of the Parliamentary Committees who are in Arusha to familiarize themselves with the work of EALA are also expected to meet with different EALA Committees. The Committee from the Parliament of Uganda has met with the EALA Accounts Committee and the Committee on General Purpose. The Committee from the Parliament of Kenya will also interface with the Committee on Regional Affairs and Conflict Resolution as well as consultation with the Deputy Secretary General, Political Federation.

Article 65 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the EAC espouses the enhanced relations between the Assembly and the National Parliaments of the Partner States.

The East African Legislative Assembly has legislative functions as well as oversight of all East African Community matters. The enactment of legislation of the Community is effected by means of Bills passed by the Assembly and assented to by the Heads of State, and every Bill that has been duly passed and assented to become an Act of the Community takes precedent over similar legislations in the Partner States. EALA has to date passed 79 pieces of legislation.