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EALA MPs urge expulsion of debts-defaulting countries from EAC

Author: Alhadi Hawari | Published: Wednesday, November 8, 2023

East Africa Legislative Assembly in Arusha, Tanzania - Photo credit - EALA website

Some lawmakers in the East Africa Legislative Assembly (EALA)have recommended the termination of membership of countries that do not fulfil their financial obligation to the regional bloc.

According to a South Sudanese lawmaker, the matter is one of the agenda discussed by the regional parliament in today’s sitting.

Honorable Maina Mwangia from Kenya reportedly presented the motion calling on EAC Council of Ministers to suspend the membership of nations that do not pay their annual contribution.

The motion was reportedly backed by some Kenyan and Ugandan lawmakers.

It also urges the expulsion of countries that do not contribute to the unity of the regional bloc members.

“If people want to tell us that they are united in their countries in the parliament, they should either send an argument to the meeting of the heads of state or the EAC authority council rather than going outside the parliament and talking on the street,” the motion read in parts.

According to a motion, the countries that have fully paid their contributions so far are Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda.

Each member country contributes approximately 7.2 million dollars annually, but South Sudan, Burundi and DRC Congo have long been EAC’s biggest debtors.

The motion cited an example that an MP who comes from DR Congo to Arusha for the parliamentary sittings, is paid 3,000 to 5,000 dollars for a plane ticket and he is still paid a salary and money to live on when his country has not donated anything.

Over the years, the house has made several resolutions urging the EAC Council of ministers to institute sanctions against countries which fail or delay remitting funds.

Rwanda, which joined the bloc in 2007 has also been commended for regularly honoring its financial obligations.

South Sudan is the biggest defaulter of financial contributions to the East African Community, with arrears of $14 million, but it is expected to clear the debts to zero before President Kiir becomes the chair of EAC.








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