The East African Legislative Assembly passed a resolution on Monday calling for urgent need for remittances of the financial obligations by partner states.
The motion for “a resolution of the assembly urging partner states to honour their financial obligations to the community” urged the Council of Ministers to direct partner states to immediately and consistently remit their financial contributions. The motion was moved by Hon Abdikadir Aden, chairman of the EALA Committee on General Purpose – Budget, and the Assembly passed it late Monday.
“Although EAC Financial Rules and Regulations provide that financial contributions from each Partner State shall be considered due on the 1st day of July in each financial year and remitted within the first six months of the same, Partner States continue to default and some remain in arrears throughout the financial year,” Mr Aden said.
The legislator said a sustainable funding mechanism is critical and all options should be explored to ensure the Community remains stable.
The EastAfrican at the weekend carried a story titled “EAC cash crisis looms after 2021 budget fallout” that told of salary delays that could push the regional bloc into a financial crisis.
In a heated debate on Monday, the Assembly further blamed both the East African Community secretariat and the Council of Ministers for failing to table their 2020/21 budget before the June deadline.
But EAC Council of Ministers chairman Vincent Biruta and EAC Secretary General Liberat Mfumukeko, who were in attendance, said that the issues of outstanding arrears owed to EALA and the tabling of the budget are on the agenda of the Council of Ministers meeting scheduled for Wednesday, July 1, 2020.
During Monday’s debate, Dr Biruta was sworn in as ex officio member of the Assembly in a brief ceremony conducted by EALA Speaker, Rt Hon Ngoga Karoli Martin.
Last week, Rwanda’s State Minister in charge of EAC Affairs, Mr Nshuti Manaseh, was also sworn in as an ex officio member of EALA.
Under the Treaty for the establishment of the EAC, the Assembly shall swear in the Ministers responsible for EAC Affairs from each partner state and the assistant or deputy minister.
The Rule 5(4) of the Rules of Procedure says in part that: “No Member can sit or participate in the proceedings of the House until the Oath or Affirmation of Allegiance to the Treaty is taken”.
The assistant/deputy minister or state minister shall only seat/attend the House proceedings provided the substantive minister responsible for EAC is unable to participate.
The debate on the budget was scheduled to continue on Tuesday.