EALA to Hold Plenary in Arusha Next Week
…regional legislators gear up for a busy two week period
East African Legislative Assembly, Arusha, Tanzania: 20 January, 2016: The East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) shall hold its sitting in Arusha, Tanzania, next week. The Forth Meeting of the Fourth Session of the Third Assembly takes place from Monday, January 24th, 2016 to Friday, February 5th 2016.
The Assembly is to be presided over by the Speaker, Rt. Hon Daniel F. Kidega. Top on the agenda during the two week period is debate on the EAC Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Bill, 2013, as well as reports emanating from various Committees following deliberations with key stakeholders in the integration process.
The Objective of the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Bill, 2013 is to provide a legal framework at regional and national level for timely intervention in disaster situations and to protect the people and the natural environment affected by disaster through comprehensive disaster risk reduction and management.
The Bill which was due for the 3rd reading at the 4th meeting of the 2nd Session in Kampala, Uganda in January 2014, was adjourned following a request by the Chairperson of the Council of Ministers, citing the need to consult the relevant provisions of the Treaty and to allow for pursuit of the ratification of the EAC Protocol on Peace and Security. The said Protocol among other objectives, provides for co-operation in DRR management and crisis response.
Earlier in August 2013, the EAC Council of Ministers moved a Motion seeking to take over the Bill from the original mover, Hon Patricia Hajabakiga, make appropriate amendments and initiate its re-introduction as a Council of Ministers’ Bill. The move was preceded by a sitting of the Sectoral Council on Environment to give policy direction to the said Bill.
The issue of the humanitarian situation in the Republic of Burundi is also expected to be a matter of discussions at EALA should the Regional Affairs and Conflict Resolution Committee complete and present its Report on the Petition by the Pan-African Lawyers Union (PALU) concerning the political situation in Burundi. Last week, the Committee held a public hearing workshop in Arusha where it listened to the PALU petition as well as to the contributions by other stakeholders comprising of the representatives of Civil Society Organisations and the opposition parties in Burundi. The Committee is expected to listen to representatives of the Government of Burundi on January 25th, 2016, who requested to be considered to appear before it after January 18th, 2016. Thereafter, it will retreat to prepare its report to the Assembly for debate.
The House is further expected to consider a report of the General Purpose Committee on a petition on work and residence permits supplicated by the East African Trade Union Confederation (EATUC) and the East African Employers Organisation (EAEO). The petition amongst other things, states the desire of workers and employers to see the Common Market Protocol fully implemented to enhance productivity.
In March 2015, the EATUC/EAEO presented a petition to the Speaker of EALA in which it made 17 prayers including the harmonization of the standards and processes of acquiring permits as well as the future amendment of annex 2 of the Common Market Protocol to put in place a roadmap for free movement of workers. The petitioners further call for standardization of the processes of issuance of work permits, pending their eventual removal in the long-run. The General Purpose Committee has since met with the employers and prepared its report which is to be debated by the House.
The House will also receive and debate on the report of the Committee on General Purpose on the EAC Annual Report as well as a Report of the Committee on Legal Rules and Privileges on a resolution moved under Rule 30 (J) of the Assembly Rules of Procedure on a matter of privileges arising from a threat of tenure of office of Members.
EALA Sittings are held under the principle of rotation in line with Article 55 of the EAC Treaty. EALA held its last Sitting in November 2015 in Kigali, Rwanda.
For more Information, contact:
Senior Public Relations Officer;
East African Legislative Assembly;
Cell: +255 787 870945+254-733-718036;
Arusha, Tanzania, www.eala.org