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EAC Member States begin a process of formation of Political Confederation

The Roadmap towards drafting of the Constitution to guide the transformation of East Africa Community (EAC), to a Political Confederation, has begun in earnest across the seven Member States.

In Kenya, the Ministry of EAC, has initiated a national process of obtaining stakeholders’ views in all the 47 counties, on what kind of Political Confederation they would desire.

According to the Ministry, the stakeholders’ views on their interests and key issues will inform the drafting of a model Political Confederation and subsequently a Confederation Constitution in line with the principle of People-centered Regional Community.

In Western Kenya, a team of constitution experts, met various stakeholders from Kakamega, Vihiga, Bumgoma, Busia and Trans-Nzoia counties at a Kakamega hotel.

The meeting chaired by Justice (Rtd), Benjamin Odoki, of Uganda and Deputized by Kenya’s former Busia Senator and Attorney- General, Amos Wako, was told of the need to establish a Central Bank of EAC States, to regulate monetary policies.

The stakeholders called for the establishment of Free Trade, EAC Court and a Uniform Education system

A participant, Mary Makokha, from Busia County suggested that in the event of marriage, partners should be given citizen of that country.

“The EAC Court should be used to settle political disputes,” she said.

She called for a uniform education curriculum across the seven Member States, instead of each country running different systems.

Acting Busia County Commissioner, Kipchumba Ruto, speaking on behalf of the region, proposed that Departments of Immigration in Member States, should put in place measures to control movement of immigrants or refugees.

He also called for the need for proper utilization and conservation of water sources in the region to grow Blue Economy across the EAC countries.

The stakeholders unanimously agreed that the inception the New Constitution, will increase development in many key sectors of Member States.

The Constitutional experts are seeking views on areas of cooperation under the Political Confederation, the governing structure, the modes of decision-making by the Confederal Authority, the governing principles and how the Constitution establishing the Political Confederation may be adopted among other issues.

The Political Federation is the ultimate pillar in the EAC integration process, after the Custom Union, Common Market and the Monetary Union.

The Summit of EAC Heads of State I, May 2017, adopted a Political Confederation as the transitional model to the Political Federation.

Similar consultations are going on in other   Seven Member States of the EAC comprising Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.

The team of experts was appointed by the Summit in February 2018 and is chaired by Justice (Rtd), Benjamin Odoki of Uganda and Deputized by Kenya’s former Busia Senator and Attorney- General, Amos Wako.

By George Kaiga and Mercy Owano

 

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