Eala convenes in Dar for the first time
Speaker Margaret Zziwa says the East African Legislative Assembly, which usually sits in Arusha, is meeting in Dar es Salaam this time around to bring it “closer to the people”
By Katare Mbashiru, The Citizen Reporter
Dar es Salaam. The East African Legislative Assembly (Eala) has convened in Dar es Salaam for the first time.
The sitting opened yesterday and is expected to end on September 5, according to Eala Speaker Margaret Zziwa.
She told a news conference yesterday that the assembly, which usually sits in Arusha, was meeting in Dar es Salaam this time around to bring it “closer to the people”.
“We want to have direct dialogue with the people on how the integration process is proceeding including talking to them on the benefits of integration,’’ she said.
President Jakaya Kikwete was initially scheduled to official open the sitting tomorrow at Karimjee Hall. However, he was until yesterday still on a tour of Morogoro Region.
Ms Zziwa said her office would set another date when the Head of State would grace the official opening.
The decision to have rotation of Eala sittings was reached after Kenyan legislator Peter Mathuki moved a private motion to have the meetings held in all EAC member states’ capitals on a rotational basis.
The debate on whether Eala sessions should continue to rotate among the five capitals of the partner states has been under scrutiny for some time with the EAC preferring Arusha as the permanent venue now that it has its new headquarters with purpose-built chambers for the regional legislature.
When Mr Mathuki rose to table the motion in August last year the Speaker turned him down, saying it was not an appropriate time to debate the issue.
Even after being pressed further that it was a point of procedure that the matter be debated in the House, Ms Zziwa refused to allow the motion to be tabled.
But, yesterday, Ms Zziwa appeared to be optimistic that the new system of having sessions done on rotational basis would help in ensuring that all people from across the region would know what is transpiring in the integration process.
In the third session of Eala, various Bills are expected to be tabled. The Assembly will also receive and consider reports from various committees of the Assembly.
According to the Eala speaker, the Assembly shall also consider motions, resolutions and questions brought before the House.