Museveni to guide EAC constitutional process

Sunday February 3 2019

Cooperation.  Presidents of the member states

Cooperation. Presidents of the member states of the East African Community pose for a photo with the EAC students who excelled in essay writing. President Museveni (with hat) handed over the chairmanship of EAC to President Kagame of Rwanda (4th right) on Friday in Arusha Tanzania. PPU PHOTO  

By MISAIRI THEMBO KAHUNGU

Kampala. President Museveni has been selected to oversee and provide political guidance to the legal experts tasked with the drafting of the East African Community (EAC) Constitution on political confederation.

The decision was made by the EAC Heads of States at the 20th Ordinary Summit in Arusha, Tanzania on Friday.

The two-day summit was attended by President Museveni, Tanzania President John Pombe Magufuli, Rwanda’s Paul Kagame and Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta.
Burundi president Pierre Nkurunziza delegated his 1st Vice President, Mr Gaston Sindimwo while South Sudan’s leader Salva Kiir was represented by Mr Paul Moyom Akec, the minister of Trade, Industry and EAC Affairs.

A communique issued by the EAC Secretariat stated that all member states have already nominated constitutional experts to put together the draft constitution of the regional political confederation.

“The summit directed the council to cause the experts to provide a preliminary report within seven months. The summit decided that President Museveni shall provide political guidance to the exercise,” the communique reads in part.

Mr Museveni, in power for 33 years, is the longest serving sitting head of state in the EAC bloc and has passionately preached the need for regional integration, peace and security saying it will be good for trade and socio-economic development.
The political confederation is the ultimate goal of the EAC Regional Integration, according to Treaty for the establishment of the EAC.

This is the fourth step after the Customs Union, Common Market and Monetary Union.
On May 20, 2017, the EAC Heads of State adopted the Political Confederation as a transitional model of the East African Political Federation.

At the same summit, President Museveni handed over to President Kagame at the new chairman of the EAC. The rapporteur position is shifting from Rwanda to Tanzania.
“The United Republic of Tanzania took over as rapporteur from the Republic of Rwanda. The summit thanked His Excellency president Museveni for ably steering the affairs of the community during his tenure,” read the communique.

During the summit, the EAC heads of state endorsed the Republic of Kenya’s candidature for the non-permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for a two-year term for the period 2021-2022.

Addressing the summit, President Museveni said the secretary general will be responsible for offering political guidance to a team of legal experts which is expected to present an interim report within seven months.

The communique also stated that the summit considered a report on the roadmap for the accelerated integration of South Sudan into the EAC and made directives for the process to be concluded. It also learnt that the verification exercise for the admission of Somalia into the EAC had not been undertaken hence directing the Council of Ministers to expedite the matter and report at the 21st Ordinary Summit next year.

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