EALA for virtual tabling of regional anti-graft bill

30Apr 2020
Marc Nkwame
The Guardian
EALA for virtual tabling of regional anti-graft bill

MEMBERS of the East African Legislative Assembly Committee on Regional Affairs and Conflict Resolution are considering a report on the East African Community’s Integrity and Anti-Corruption Bill before it is presented at a virtual plenary meeting set for May 7. 

EALA senior public relations officer Bobi Odiko said yesterday that the regional legislative body has resolved to hold the fourth meeting of its third session in a different format, as part of efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

Regional parliamentary meetings are held virtually around the partner states. Key reports top the agenda of the three week virtual meeting, to be presided over by the Speaker, Ngoga Karoli Martin.

A report on accounts from a capacity building workshop will be tabled as well as a report of the committee on agriculture, tourism and natural resources. The latter takes up ‘on the spot assessment of the activities of the Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC).’

A report of the committee on agriculture, tourism and natural resources on the oversight activity on climate change is also expected.

He also said that a report of the committee on communication, trade and investment on the one network area along with a report from an accounts committee on oversight of EAC institutions in Uganda are similarly lined up.

A number of questions and motions as is customary in parliamentary business are also expected, the official noted.

This week, the six committees will convene virtually in the respective EAC capitals to consider their various reports, prior to presenting tabling and subsequent debates at the plenary, he elaborated.

Already the EALA Commission held its statutory meeting to consider and approve activities of the assembly for next month.

The committee on legal rules and privileges also met to consider its report on approximation and harmonization of national laws in the EAC context.

EALA has taken this approach in line with measures in the partner states and around the world to commit to virtual meetings starting April 20, with the virtual EALA Commission meeting chaired by the EALA Speaker noting with concern the alarming rate at which the COVID-19 pandemic is spreading globally (and in the region) and its attendant impact on humanity.

The commission thus resolved to continue with its planned activities through video conferencing in Arusha and the partner states’ capitals.  A number of legislatures have also reworked the modus operandi of their work following the advent of the pandemic.