Kampala- The Minister of State for East African Community Affairs, Mr Shem Bagaine, has said impeachment of the East Africa Legislative Assembly Speaker Magret Zziwa should not worry anyone that it will lead to the collapse of the East African Community (EAC).
Speaking to leaders from greater Mbarara local governments on Friday, Mr Bageine said the impeachment of Ms Zziwa on Wednesday is a “democratic” practice and it could have happened to any other person from the member country holding the position.
He said questions had arisen about the performance of (Ms Zziwa)which culminated into her impeachment. He reassured the leaders that Uganda would continue to hold the position until 2017 as provided for in the EAC treaty.
He was speaking at sensitisation and awareness creation workshop on EAC integration for the districts of Mbarara, Ibanda, Isingiro, Kiruhura and Ntungamo held in Mbarara.
The district leaders had raised concern that the development could affect progress and survival of the EAC.
Mr Bageine said the framers of the EAC treaty considered various principles, including the separation of powers. He said the Executive cannot interfere in the affairs of the Judiciary or Legislature, and so they could not interfere in the Eala speaker impeachment affair.
Ms Zziwa was elected to head the 45 member Eala in June 2012 with 33 votes defeating Ms Dora Byamukama, but 36 members out of the 39 who attended the session last week voted in favour of her impeachment.
Mr Bageine said the first EAC established in 1967 collapsed in 1977 because of inadequate involvement of people in decision making, inadequate sharing of costs and benefits of integration and ideological differences among partner states and lack of vision on the part of some leaders.
Mr Bageine said the now 14-year-old “Community is built on a more firm and solid foundation and measures have been put in place to militate against collapse.”
He said the Cabinet of Uganda recently approved the National Policy on EAC which seeks to mainstream EAC integration into Uganda development agenda and define roles of various players in the implementation of EAC agenda in Uganda.
He said they should senstsise people about the importance of realising economic, political and security integration of East Africa.
“Our ministry’s request is that you endeavour to have EAC issues integrated into your local governments’ activities for us to be able to move the EAC integration agenda forward. EAC integration is good for our future, we should all embrace it,” he said.
SOURCE: Daily Monitor