Arusha. The East African Legislative Assembly says it will go ahead with plans for full autonomy.
It said full administrative and financial autonomy was granted by the East African Community (EAC) Council of Ministers, which is the policy organ of the Community, way back in 2016.
The resolution to that effect was passed on Wednesday by the House currently meeting in the Uganda capital of Kampala for its plenary session. “In the wake of this, the assembly at plenary today passed a resolution directing the Eala Commission to come up with all necessary instruments to fully achieve the objectives for which it was established,” a statement availed to The Citizen said.
The autonomy granted would include enabling the regional parliament to recruit own members of the staff as well as enhancing terms and conditions of services for the MPs and the support staff. In passing the resolution, the assembly adopted performance contracting as a scheme of service in the assembly as opposed to the two-term limits for its professional and technical staff.
The resolution to adopt and operationalise the financial and administrative autonomy of Eala was moved by Ms Susan Nakawuki Nsambu (Uganda) and seconded by Ms Oda Gasinzigwa (Rwanda) and supported by many members.
At its 33rd meeting held two years ago, the EAC Council of Ministers granted the assembly full financial and administrative autonomy in a bid to enable it to secure broad independence. The assembly noted it was already empowered under Articles 49 and 132 for the EAC Treaty, through the Eala Act, 2012 and Eala Rules of Procedures to exercise such powers.
During the debate, an MP from Kenya Abdikadir Aden said autonomy in terms of administrative ability to organise its work remained fundamental. He called for amendment of the EAC Treaty regarding the powers and mandate of its organs such as Eala “in order to move in tandem with the dynamics of integration”.
The chairperson of the Council of Ministers and Uganda minister for EAC Affairs, Mr Julius Wandera said the matter would be taken to higher authorities of the community.