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EA parliament calls for removal of work permit fees

By Vision Reporter

Added 22nd April 2013 11:47 AM

The necessity for one to pay a fee before they can be given a work permit to be employed in any of the five East African countries under the East African community could be history.

The necessity for one to pay a fee before they can be given a work permit to be employed in any of the five East African countries under the East African community could be history.

By Henry Sekanjako

The necessity for one to pay a fee before they can be given a work permit to be employed in any of the five East African countries under the East African community (EAC) could be history, if the regional bloc duly implements a resolution passed by the East African legislative Assembly (EALA).

The regional parliament currently sitting in Rwanda for its 5th Meeting of the 1st Session of the 3rd Assembly on Thursday last week passed a motion for a resolution for elimination of work permit fees for citizens of the region in the spirit of enhancing free movement of workers.

According to a statement from EALA secretariat, the resolution states that EAC citizens have been subjected to altered work permit fees in the region which are divided into several classes catering for different professions.

The resolution indicates that the current fees charged to obtain work permits within EAC countries vary. In Tanzania, the fees range between USD 6 for the peasant up to USD 3,000 for miners while in Uganda it ranges between USD 250 for missionaries, up to USD 2500 for miners.

The resolution was moved by EALA Ugandan representative Bernard Mulengani and seconded by Abubakar Zein of Kenya.

It takes cognizance of the fact that Article 76 of the treaty for the establishment of the EAC recognizes that within the common market; there shall be free movement of labour, goods, services, capital and right of establishment.
 
Article 10 of the common market protocol on its part, guarantees that the partner states do provide for free movement of workers, who are citizens of the other partner states within their territories.

According to the resolution, the current fees charged to obtain work permits within EAC countries vary. In Tanzania, the fees range between USD 6 for the peasant up to USD 3,000 for miners while in Uganda it ranges between USD 250 for missionaries, up to USD 2500 for miners.

In Burundi, the fees range from USD 60 for students to USD 84 for regular workers.   Mulengani the mover of the motion said; “The objective of the work permit is seen as a mode of earning revenue and taxes or regulation of free movement”.

In the motion, EALA, appealed to the council of ministers to call for harmonization of national laws in order to allow for free of movement of labour and social services.

The assembly also applauded Kenya and Rwanda governments for taking the first steps in eliminating work permit fees for the citizens of EAC which it urged Burundi , Tanzania and Uganda to emulate the same spirit.



 

East African parliament calls for elimination of work permit fees

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