East African Community: EALA Meeting in Kampala is abruptly adjourned after Ugandan MPs stay away


Reports Leo Odera Omolo In Kisumu City.

FOR some yet to be explained reasons, Uganda elected members of the East African Legislative Assembly stayed away on Monday afternoon, prompting the Speaker of the House to adjourn the sitting twice, due to lack of quorum.

The EALA, the legislative wing of the East African Community is currently holding its two week’s session in the Ugandan capital. Such a meeting rotates to all the five member states of the EAC, namely Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Burundi and Rwanda.

The state-owned NEWVISION reported this morning that the House, presided over by the Speaker, Abdularahim Abdi, was at the time receiving a report of the committee on agriculture, tourism and natural resources, on the common strategy for food security in the region.

While the committee chairperson, Dr. George Nangale, presented the report, Janet Mmari {Tanzania} raised a point of procedure, saying the House was proceeding without quorum since there was no elected Uganda member present.

The rule of procedure governing the EALA requires that all the member countries have to be represented by at least three elected MPs.

The only Ugandan legislature present in the House at the material time was the Ugandan Minister for EAC Affairs, Eriya Kategaya, who is technically not an elected member of the Assembly.

The Speaker suspended the meeting for 10 minutes to give the Clerk time to try and mobilize the Ugandan MPs.
However, after 15 minutes, the Speaker returned to the Chamber and announced that the Ugandan elected MPs could not be found, and the House adjourned again.

And after the House had adjourned, some Ugandan representatives appeared in the lobby, but they declined to talk to the media about their sudden disappearance from the House business.

Nusura Tajoni, one of the MPs later explained that the Ugandan member were attending a crucial meeting in an attempt to resolve a dispute over a committee position. But one Margaret Zziwa was bold enough to disclose that the Ugandan MPs were busy discussing other pressing issues.

Other business scheduled for the day included consideration of the committee report on regional affairs and conflict resolutions.

The House was also expected to consider a motion urging the EAC member states to take action against female genital mutilation.

Sources within the opposition parties in Uganda severely criticized the elected Ugandan MPs for lack of commitment to the deliberations of the Assembly, even when such meetings are held within their doorsteps.

One anonymous spokesman for the opposition blamed the Ugandan representatives, whom he accused of earning millions of shillings from the taxpayers, only to stay away from the meetings of the EAC.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *