By Vision Reporter
EALA Members on Thursday resolved to continue with the rotational sittings in the Partner States. The debate on the Resolution of the Assembly to decide the issue of rotational sittings in the Partner States concluded in the affirmative with amendments, in effect giving the rotational principle a nod.
The motion moved by Hon Peter Mathuki and seconded by Hon Dr James Ndahiro reiterated that rotational sittings were a laudable practice of the Assembly supported by all the Heads of State of the EAC and that no individual or group had to date challenged the issue.
The mover maintained that in addition, rotational sittings enable regular interactions with the Speakers of respective National Assemblies and that EALA further understands the aspirations and concerns of East Africans.
‘Rotations capture spirit and aspiration of the summit members going by their previous address to the assembly and through their addresses they have guided the assembly that rotational sittings are good for the people of East Africa’ Hon Mathuki noted.
According to the Resolution, Article 55(1) of the Treaty to remain in force-it states that it is the meetings of the Assembly shall be held at such times and places as the Assembly may appoint.
The procedure of rotational sittings was mooted by the 2nd Assembly during the tenure of the Speaker Emeritus, Rt. Hon Abdirahin Abdi.
‘The matter has lately attracted media attention/speculation in all the Partner States thus misguiding the public on the way forward, according to Hon Mathuki. The media speculation has adversely affected the integrity of the whole house’ the legislator maintained.
On Wednesday, debate on the matter was halted immediately after the submission by Hon Abdullah Mwinyi following a quorum hitch. Hon Abdullah Mwinyi stated the Rules of Procedure and Administration of EALA Act clearly stipulate the role of the EALA Commission and that they needed to urgently address the predicament. ‘I also urge all colleagues to respect the Office of the Speaker as by doing so, we also respect ourselves’, he added.
Hon Dr. James Ndahiro remarked that Article 55 succinctly gave guidance on the matter with respect to sitting in other Partner States. The practice of rotation has enabled the Assembly to get closer to the people. They now appreciate and understand integration more. The Address by the Heads of State is unrivalled as well.
When debate resumed today, Hon Dan Kidega supported the motion but with amendments that two Sittings be held in Arusha (the Budget Session and review audit of the audited accounts of the EAC) with the other four remaining meetings in all the Partner States. Hon Kidega proposed that the EALA Commission would determine the venues of the rotational sittings in the calendar year.
Under Rule 11 (7) of the Rules of Procedure of the Assembly, the Assembly may on a Resolution adopted by a majority of its Members decide to hold one or more Sittings elsewhere within the Partner States other than at its seat.