EAST AFRICAN LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY wants to lecture law to East African presidents
EAST AFRICAN COMMUNITY
EAST AFRICAN LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY
OPENING REMARKS BY THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE SUB-COMMITTEE ON LEGAL, RULES AND PRIVILEGES ON THE PUBLIC HEARING ON IMPLEMENTATION OF THE
INTER-CONTINENTAL HOTEL, NAIROBI, KENYA
18TH MARCH 2013
Honourable Members of the East African Legislative Assembly
The Senior Director, Ministry of East African Community;
Other Directors from the various Ministries of the Republic of Kenya present here today;
Ladies and Gentlemen;
All Protocols Observed
Good morning and a very warm welcome to you all to this important public hearing workshop
Ladies and Gentlemen;
The Legal, Rules and Privileges Committee is a Standing Committee of the East African Legislative Assembly. The East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) is one of the seven Organs of the East African Community (EAC) established under the provisions of Article 9 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community. The objectives for which EAC is established are stated in Article 5 as developing policies and programs aimed at widening and deepening cooperation among Partner States in various fields for their mutual benefit. Chapter 21 of the Treaty identifies a number of fields in which Partner States undertake to cooperate with a view to achieving the objectives of the EAC.
The responsibility for implementing the policies, laws, projects and programs in these fields is essentially vested in the Partner States. However, Article 5 (2) of the Treaty charges the Community with the responsibility of ensuring that the Partner States adhere to and implement them. The East African Legislative Assembly is primarily mandated to legislate and oversee implementation of laws enacted.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is important to note that the Community laws take precedence over similar laws in the Partner States. However, most laws enacted by the Community are either not being implemented fully or have remained in statute books and gazettes with no hope of being implemented / enforced.
It is in this regard that the East African Legislative Assembly through its Committee on Legal, Rules and Privileges, is assessing the status of implementation and impacts of two laws since their enactment. The two laws are:
The East African Community Standardisation, Quality Assurance, Metrology and Testing Act, 2006; and
- The East African Community Competition Act, 2006.
It is significant to note that the two laws have been on the statute books since 2006. The Committee will be holding Public Hearing workshops concurrently in all EAC Partner States with the objectives of:
a) ascertaining whether the stakeholders are aware of the laws;
b) assessing the status of implementation of the two laws;
c) identifying the challenges faced by Partner States while attempting to operationalise the said laws;
d) identifying the effects and impacts of implementation or non-implementation of the laws on trade regimes in the Community;
e) establishing if any specific provision of the said laws require amendments;
f) seeking proposals for the amendments to the said pieces of legislation;
g) creating linkages with stakeholders implementing the laws; and
h) identifying any other issues.
The Sub – Committee which is made up of 3 Members from the Committee on Legal, Rules and Privileges (Hon. Joseph Kiangoi Ombasa, Hon. Judith Pareno and Hon. Mukasa Fred Mbidde) with coordination from the Ministry of East African Community, Kenya has organized to meet with relevant stakeholders in order to meet its objectives.
The Sub -Committee further visited the Namanga Border Post on 19th March 2013 and met with various stakeholders with a view of getting similar information as stated above as spelt out in the objectives of this workshops.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The information, facts and figures received from these public hearing workshops will enable the Assembly through the Committee Report to take the relevant action.
Having said that, I wish you fruitful deliberations and I hope the workshops will come up with recommendations that the Assembly shall ensure are fully implemented.
Thank you for your kind attention.
By Mukasa Fred Mbidde
MP representing Uganda to East African Legislative Assembly and Legal advisor of the Democratic Party (Uganda)