The East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) is expected to resume business next week by holding its Plenary Session in Kampala, Uganda. The Plenary which takes place from January 22nd 2018, through to February 9, 2018, is the Second Meeting of the First Session of the Forth Assembly.
President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni who is the Chair of the Summit of EAC Heads of State, is expected to deliver the State of EAC Address to the Assembly at a date to be communicated. The State of EAC Address is an annual address delivered by the sitting EAC Summit Chair and it sets the momentum and impetus for the integration process by reflecting on general policies that relate to the Community’s progress while outlining the strategic challenges which require attention.
The Assembly which is to be presided by the Speaker, Rt. Hon Ngoga K. Martin, shall during the three-week period further discuss the following legislative business:
- Debate three key Bills; the EAC Oaths Bill, 2017, the EAC Statistics Bureau Bill, 2017 and the EAC Monetary Institute Bill, 2017.
- Hold Plenary to establish and elect Members to the six Committees of the Assembly. They include the Committee on Accounts, the Committee on General Purpose and the Committee on Regional Affairs and Conflict Resolution. Others are the Committee on Legal Rules and Privileges, the Committee on Communication, Trade and Investment, and the Committee on Agriculture, Tourism and Natural Resources.
- Pose questions to the Council of Ministers, debate and adopt Motions and Resolutions.
The object of the EAC Monetary Institute Bill, 2017, is to provide for the establishment of the East African Monetary Institute (EAMI) as an institution of the Community responsible for preparatory work for the EAC Monetary Union. In accordance with Article 23 of the Protocol on the EAC Monetary Union, the Bill is expected to provide for the functions, governance and funding for the Institute as well as other related matters.
Closely related to the EAMI Bill is the EAC Statistics Bureau Bill, 2017, which also seeks to establish the Statistics Bureau as an Institution of the Community under Article 9 of the Treaty and Article 21 of the Protocol on Establishment of the EAC Monetary Union. The Bill provides for the functions, powers, governance and its funding with a view to establishing an institution responsible for statistics in a bid to support the East African Monetary Union.
On its part, the East African Community Oaths Bill, 2017, anticipates to provide for the taking and administering of Oaths in relation to the specific persons appointed to serve in the Organs or Institutions of the Community or required to take oath before giving evidence at the East African Court of Justice. The Bill moved by the Chair of the Council of Ministers, Rt Hon Ali Kirunda Kivejinja, avers that whereas there are specific persons who are required by the Treaty like in the case of the Judges and Registrars of the EACJ if in justice matters, or an Act of the Community like in the case of EALA Members, in all other cases, oaths of allegiance are administered and taken in accordance with staff rules and regulations or by practice. The Bill therefore hopes to cure the lacuna by providing for the administration of an oath as a statute
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