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Gov'ts blamed for ignoring regional integration matters

By Job Nantakiika

Added 16th March 2017 11:40 AM

Ssembatya made the remarks at the harmonization of national laws to conform to the common market protocol workshop held at Imperial Royale hotel in Kampala on Wednesday.

Gov'ts blamed for ignoring regional integration matters

Ssembatya made the remarks at the harmonization of national laws to conform to the common market protocol workshop held at Imperial Royale hotel in Kampala on Wednesday.

The acting commissioner political and legal affairs in the ministry of East African Community Affairs Joseph Ssembatya has slammed government departments and agencies for ignoring the integration matters.

Ssembatya made the remarks at the harmonization of national laws to conform to the common market protocol workshop held at Imperial Royale hotel in Kampala on Wednesday.

"It is worth mentioning here also that there seems to be general laxity among ministries, departments and agencies- MDAs in relation to regional matters," said the official.

Ssembatya added that the laxity is evident in low levels of facilitation to issue concerning the integration by ministries, departments and agencies.

 He reminded the participants that the President has emphasized Regional Integration as a panacea to National Socio-economic Development during this Kisanja "Hakuna Muchezo".

According to the P/S of the ministry of the east African community affairs Edith Mwanje, Uganda has so far amended 5 laws out of the 22 that were identified as not being in conformity with the common market protocol

The amended ones include the accountants registration act. Cap 266 which previously only recognized the members of the institute of certified public accountants of Kenya and the national board of accountants of Tanzania leaving out Burundi and Rwanda but this has been lifted.

The trade licensing act Cap 101 has also been amended to conform to the common market protocol. Previously under section 3, a minister may prohibit foreign traders from trading in business areas and trading centers reserved for citizens of Uganda hence restricting traders from other EAC partner states but this has been also lifted.

Other laws amended include the airport service charges Act chapter 353 where Uganda used to charge USD 20 from all foreigner passengers departing by any aircraft from any airport in Uganda even those from EAC member states, the civil Aviation {Air operator certification and regulations no 26 of 2012} and that of the financial institutions Act, 2/2004 have been amended in line with EAC Common market protocol.

She added that 8 laws are work in progress and the 9 laws have not been tackled as per the available evidence.


She emphasized that the harmonization of national laws is critical to the full implementation of the Common Market Protocol.

However, Amanda Magambo the coordinator of the regional affairs in the ministry of foreign affairs pointed out that Uganda has waved visa and work permit fees from the citizens of the EAC member states but her surprise some countries still charge Ugandans such fees.

She added that 52 Ugandans have been sent back from Tanzania due to luck of work permits and she called upon all member states to follow suite so that they can move on the same pace.

Ronah Sserwadda the regional integration expert from the ministry of EAC affairs said that they are yet to come up with a trucking tool and this will be looking at the bills and monitor the response of the member states.

She also said that there is need to have enforcement and this will be responsible for enforcing the agreed bills into practice and putting sanctions on the non-compliant EAC member states.

The workshop was attended by members from the ministry of justice, law reform commission, from the ministry of gender and then people from the private sector like accountants, CPA Uganda and many others.

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