By Henry Sekanjako
THE Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has rallied East African Parliaments to join hands to fight regional terrorism that has resulted into several deaths.
Addressing the East African Community Speakers Bureau meeting in Nairobi Kenya on Saturday, the Speaker re-echoed the need for solidarity among the people, Parliaments and governments to curb the spread of terrorism.
“I would like to express solidarity with the government, the Parliament and the people of Kenya in relation to terrorist attacks which have bedevilled the country and affected all of us. As a region we need to support each other to ensure that terrorism does not take root in our region,” she said.
Kadaga who noted the need to promote the ideals of the East African Community across the region expressed disappointment over the lack of clear linkages between Parliaments and the Community.
“As Parliaments we have no opportunity to address the Council of Ministers or the Heads of State Summit on any matter. I am increasingly getting the feeling that the EAC Speakers’ forum remains hanging. I note the reasons given by the Council of Ministers for rejecting the proposal to make it an Organ of the East African Community appear to be protectionist,” she added.
Meanwhile the East African Legislative Assembly has announced plans to sensitize regional leaders on the usefulness of the East African Community. The new measures will see sittings of Parliament and Local Councils to deliberate on the current challenges facing integration.
Speaking at the EAC Speakers’ Bureau Meeting in Nairobi EALA Speaker Margaret Zziwa said the regional Parliament had secured resources to commence the process of sensitizing national Parliaments.
“A humble budget of US dollars 225,000 was approved to the Assembly to kick start the sensitization this year. Whilst plans are underway to develop a sensitization framework, EALA is proposing to start with National Parliaments to effectively sensitize the MPs on all the progression in the EAC integration agenda,” she told delegates to the meeting.
The sensitization drive will involve retooling local government leaders, government departmental heads, academia, student leaders, and civil society leaders.
The East African Community Speakers Bureau brings together all Speakers of the EAC Member States.
The Nairobi meeting was attended by Speakers Justin B.N. Muturi, and Ekwee Ethuro of the Kenya Parliament and National Assembly and Senate respectiveluy, EALA Speaker Margret Zziwa; Anne Makinda Speaker of Tanzania, Rwanda’s Donatille Mukabalisa and the 2nd Vice-President of the National Assembly of Burundi, H.EKabura Francois.