The East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) will over the next 10 days hold sessions in Zanzibar, Tanzania, where debate will focus three key bills.
The Second Meeting of the Fifth Session of the Third Assembly between October 10 and 21 and expected to be addressed by the President of Zanzibar Dr. Ali Mohamed Shein, is to be presided over by the EALA Speaker, Rt. Hon. Daniel F. Kidega.
This is the first time the 3rd Assembly is meeting in Zanzibar as part of its rotational principle. The 2nd Assembly on its part held a Sitting in Zanzibar in December 2007.
The Assembly is expected to dispense the EAC Trafficking in Persons Bill 2016, the EAC Polythene Materials Control Bill 2016 and the EAC Gender Equality and Development Bill 2016.
The EAC Counter-Trafficking in Persons Bill, 2016, seeks to provide a legal framework, develop common measures, strategies and programmes to the prevention of trafficking in persons and the perpetrators of such actions.
The Bill is being debated at a time when the region and the globe are reeling from major effects of counter-trafficking in persons.
The Bill is to further develop partnerships for co-operation in counter trafficking in persons and provision of protection mechanisms and services for persons. At the Sitting in Dar es Salaam in March 2016, the Assembly committed the crucial Bill to the Committee stage.
The EAC Polythene Materials Control Bill, 2016 moved by Patricia Hajabakiga, aims at providing a legal framework for the preservation of a clean and healthy environment through the prohibition of manufacturing, sale, importation and use of polythene materials. The Bill was re-introduced during the Sitting held in August 2016 in Arusha, Tanzania.
The EAC Gender Equality and Development Bill 2016 on its part, sets out to make provision for gender equality, protection and development in the Community.
According to the mover, Nancy Abisai, the Bill seeks to consolidate and harmonise the various commitments on gender equality that have been made at regional, continental and international levels in the context of the EAC.
The House shall also be furnished by a number of reports including reports of the Committee on Communication, Trade and Investments, the Committee on Regional Affairs and Conflict Resolution and the Committee on Legal, Rules and Privileges. The Committee on Agriculture, Tourism and Natural Resources and the General Purpose Committee shall also be tabling their reports.
EALA Sittings are held under the principle of rotation in line with Article 55 of the EAC Treaty. EALA meets at least once in every year at it’s headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.