The East African Community council of ministers adjourned after Uganda said it was not ready for the meeting. The meeting which was set for this week was to endorse the controversial recruitment of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) Clerk and Deputy Clerk.
The adjournment comes a few days after the Uganda lawmakers at EALA Rose Akol Akullu and Mary Mugenyi protested against EALA’s decision to recommend to the Council of Ministers the appointment of Saidi Othman Yakubu, a Tanzanian Attorney and John Njoroge from Kenya as EALA Clerk and Deputy Clerk respectively.
The two Ugandan MPs argued that this decision violated Article (6) of the Treaty which proposes partner states to ensure ‘equitable distribution of benefits of integration’ and that the recruitment exercise was marred by fraud and irregularities.
However, the EALA speaker Martin went ahead to recommend to the Council of Ministers to appoint Yakubu and Njoroge for the top EALA positions.
Uganda’s Ministry of Regional Cooperation wrote to the East African Community secretariat informing the body that it needed more time to ‘allow for more internal consultations’. And according to the EAC rule of procedure, once a country expresses non- readiness to attend the meeting, then it flops.
Following Uganda’s request, the EAC has been compelled to defer the meeting till further notice
Uganda’s main concern is that the recruitment of the EALA staff top positions have been taken up by Kenya and Tanzania.
The EAC staff agenda ensures “the recruitment of staff of the community shall as far as possible be reflective of equal representation of the partner states.”
Currently, the General Secretary of the EAC is a Kenyan. The Deputy Secretary General in charge of planning, infrastructure, finance and administration, Eng. Steven D.M Molte is a Tanzanian.
Dr. Emmanuel Ugirashebija, head of EAC Court of Justice and speaker of Parliament, Martin Ngoga are Rwandan natives.
” It is evident that the ongoing recruitment exercise has been marred by unprecedented gross irregularities,” MPs emphasized.
Countries such as Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan and Uganda have been neglected to take up positions in the top staff.
The MPs have gone further to request the Council of Ministers to review the recruitment exercise or cancel the entire exercise and order for a fresh one which confirms with the treaty, staff rules, quota system and other laws of the community.