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EAC confederation committee picks Nakuru views

Proposals for the East African Community (EAC) to have one education curriculum, infrastructure and security apparatus, have continued to be raised as constitutional experts seek the public’s input in the proposed Confederation Constitution.

The Committee of Experts drafting the Constitution of East Africa Confederation led by Justice Benjamin Odoki heard that there was need to have a standing armed forces in place to safeguard the region.

A stakeholders forum held in Nakuru where the residents of the county alongside their Kericho, Baringo, Narok, Bomet and Samburu counterparts gave their input, submitted that the confederation should pave way for a seamless transition into an EAC family, with common value systems and political integration.

The proposals on areas of cooperation including a common Kiswahili language, documentation of indigenous knowledge and preservation of cultural heritage were fronted as key in informing the final draft constitution towards a common federation.

Baringo County resident Dr. Daniel Rotich Kendagor noted that the constitution should prioritize international relations and security noting that the two will ensure seamless integration.

The residents, who agreed on Kiswahili as the common language of communication also agreed to have the confederation funded by member states with countries outside the community paying duty while exporting to the EAC.

“We are proposing that the presidents to the member states should vote amongst themselves who should be the president of the confederation for a term of three years. Later on, we can have the citizens of the member states vote in a unified electoral system, to choose the premier head of the EAC Federation,” noted Kabianga University Don Joel Soi.

Soi submitted that the confederation should allow member states to divide their budgets equally, with proper policies put in place to govern infrastructure and electoral processes.

“There are fears that when the EAC countries merge, The Kenyan Shilling will compromise the economy of other states given that it is the strongest in the region. The fears are valid and therefore there is need for experts to carefully consider the model that European Union used that was a success,” noted Bishop Peter Nakula, a representative of Narok County to the forum.

Mosop Ward (Nakuru) MCA Alex Langat proposed a unified weapon control system for that will ensure no single country will be more armed than other member states.

Former Attorney General and vice chair to the committee, Amos Wako, noted that the Confederation was the Confidence Building Measure before the East African States could move to the Federation of East Africa.

He noted that professionals, the civil society groups as well as academicians had given views into the process, calling for more input through the press and social media platforms to inform a rich Constitution.

Secretary to the committee, Idi Mandi, noted that the team collecting the views intended to understand their input on the structure of the confederation in relation to the member states with more emphasis on how the states will relate.

By Anne Sabuni

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