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EAC in financial crisis, EALA wants defaulting states punished

By Joyce Namutebi

Added 21st March 2017 01:45 PM

The East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) further wants the Council of Ministers to invoke provisions of the Treaty (Article 14 and Article 143) to reprimand the Partner States that are defaulting in taking care of their obligations.

EAC in financial crisis, EALA wants defaulting states punished

The East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) further wants the Council of Ministers to invoke provisions of the Treaty (Article 14 and Article 143) to reprimand the Partner States that are defaulting in taking care of their obligations.

The regional assembly has passed a resolution urging the Council of Ministers to immediately convene to resolve the financial crisis in the East African Community (EAC) by ensuring immediate and full disbursement of funds by partner states.

The East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) further wants the Council of Ministers to invoke provisions of the Treaty (Article 14 and Article 143) to reprimand the Partner States that are defaulting in taking care of their obligations.

During a sitting in Kigali Rwanda last week the assembly moved to establish a Select Committee to investigate the matter of financial paralysis and to report back to the House.

Communication from Kigali said that activities of the EAC are perpetually grinding to a halt - unless immediate remedial measures are taken to remit the amount of USD 24,016,930 owed to the EAC by the Partner States.

The Motion moved by Kenya's representative to EALA Nancy Abisai and under Rule 30 L of the Rules of Procedure also wants the Council of Ministers to be proactive by ensuring the matter is on the agenda of the next EAC Summit meeting as a priority and matter of urgency and public importance.

The Motion avers that out of a total sum of USD 41, 890,538 approved as the budget of the EAC Organs and Institutions funded by equal contributions from Partner States to cater for the Secretariat, EALA, East African Court of Justice (EACJ), Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC), the Kiswahili Commission the Health Research Commission and the Competition Authority, the amount so far remitted at the Secretariat stands at USD 18,644,645 which amounts to 44%, three months to the end of the financial year.

The Council of Ministers has previously resolved that all Partner States should be fully paid up by December 30 of every financial Year to enable the Community to function and operate smoothly. Each Partner State is required to pay USD 8,378,108.

 The communication said that currently, Kenya has contributed $4,395,707 (52.47%) leaving an outstanding of $3,982,400 (47.53%), Tanzania has contributed $2,553,203 (30.47%) leaving an outstanding of $5,824,905 (69.53%), Uganda has contributed 7,668,419 (91.53%) leaving an outstanding of $709,689 (9.47%), and Rwanda has contributed $4,027,316 (48.07%) leaving an outstanding of $4,350,791 (51.93%).

The communication, however, said Burundi has not contributed any amount to this financial year's budget (0.00%) leaving an outstanding of $8,378,108 (100%) excluding arrears for the previous year amounting to $771,037.

The figures exclude contributions earmarked for the Lake Victoria Fisheries Organisation, the Inter-University Council of East Africa and the Civil Aviation, Security and Safety Organisation Agency (CASSOA) which is a self-accounting institution of the EAC.

The Assembly is further concerned that non-remittance of the funds is recurring and the move has completely disrupted the functions of the Assembly.  The results of which include, non-payment of allowances and personnel emoluments, delays in settlement of supplier invoices 

Uganda's representative Dora Byamukama said the Community needs to take the matter of remittances seriously and proposed that it may be time for the different Organs and institutions to bid for their contributions directly as opposed to the current form where all monies are disbursed to the Secretariat first, before the institutions and Organs receive the attendant portion.

Rwanda's representative Patricia Hajabakiga called for total goodwill on part of the Partner States in order to spur integration.   She said the African Union which has a bigger membership had managed to finalise discussions on the matter of sustainability - while the EAC bloc which has a relatively manageable membership is yet to realise the objective.

Burundi's Yves Nsabimana said an analysis of the budget performance was pegged at 45% which he termed as worrying and that the image of the Community was bad calling for immediate remittances to the EAC.

Hon Mike Sebalu noted with appreciation the contribution of Uganda saying it was inspiring even to the other Partner States.  "I encourage everyone wherever they are to meet their obligations", he said.  He called on the EAC to look at alternative funding mechanism

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