Arusha. Newly recruited staff members of the East African Community (EAC), its organs and institutions, will now be required to take an oath if a Bill to the effect is passed by the regional assembly.
The proposed legislation will target 'specific persons', most likely the senior staff, who take up jobs in the regional organization and its numerous institutions.
The EAC Oaths Bill, 2017 will be tabled before the East African Legislative Assembly (Eala) which resumes its sitting in Arusha this week until March 23rd.
Besides persons appointed to serve the Community, those required to take oath are to include persons required to give evidence at the East African Court of Justice (EACJ).
The Bill moved by the chair of EAC Council of Ministers, the policy organ of the community, Dr. Ali Kirunda Kivejinja who is also Uganda's minister for EAC Affairs.
Until now EAC staff required to take oath are the political appointees being the secretary general, deputy secretaries and counsel to the community, the chief legal advisor.
Others are the Judges and Registrars of the regional court as well as Eala members.
In all other cases, according to a statement issued by Eala, oaths of allegiance are administered and taken in accordance with the staff rules and regulations or by practice.
The bill sailed through the first reading at the recent sitting of Eala in Kampala, Uganda, Eala spokesperson Bobi Odiko confirmed yesterday.
The EAC, its organs and institutions have of late been grappling with the shortage of the professional staff for various reasons.
By June 2014, the secretariat, which is the executive arm of the community, had 231 employees, of whom six were executive staffs.
There were 69 professionals, 46 general service staff, 84 project staff and 16 temporary staff. Eala and EACJ had 34 and 24 staff members respectively.
EAC institutions are located at Kisumu (Kenya), Kampala and Jinja (Uganda), Kigali (Rwanda), Bujumbura (Burundi), Zanzibar and Arusha.