EAC member states appealed to focus on post Covid-19 relations

28May 2020
Polycarp Machira
The Guardian
EAC member states appealed to focus on post Covid-19 relations

​​​​​​​EAST Africa Community (EAC) governments have been called upon to focus on post Covid-19 relationship and have a common way to help control economic depression in the region.

Kenyan lawyer, Prof Patrick Lumumba.

The call was made by a renowned Kenyan lawyer, Prof Patrick Lumumba who argued that the member states had different approaches to dealing with coronavirus but now they need a common stance on how to deal with post Covid-19 recession.

Speaking during a televised live programme aired by Star TV on Tuesday evening, the renown lawyer observed that EAC states need to have equal terms to avoid conflicts on issues that can be solved amicably.

He said stronger cooperation beyond Covid-19 is very important in building the community, adding that some differences realised should be solved.

“EAC member states handled Covid-19 pandemic differently leading to some tension but as a block we can still sail together despite going through valleys and mountains.” he said, adding that leaders in the region should see how to harmonise their differences.

Last week Kenya closed its border with Tanzania, causing tension among citizens of the two countries as Tanga and Kilimanjaro announced that lorries from Kenya should be barred from entering the country through Holili and Horohoro.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Saturday closed the country's borders with Somalia and Tanzania effective midnight as part of measures to contain the spread of coronavirus.

Kenyatta banned the movement of persons and passengers in and out of Kenya through the Tanzania and Somalia borders for 21 days following the rise of cross-border Covid-19 transmission.

The outspoken lawyer showered praise on Tanzania for unwavering stance on how to deal with the disease, saying countries like Taiwan, South Korea and Sudan had a similar position.

He argued that scientists should try and find out why countries like Italy, USA, and Spain, among others that adopted full lockdown had a lot of infections and death rates. Lumumba noted that Tanzania took its own decision but have not reported many deaths like those countries.

Prof Lumumba also criticised international monetary organisations that were quick to give loans to African countries to help deal with coronavirus, saying their aim is to deprive developing countries of their economic freedom.

“ I fully agree with President John Magufuli who openly challenged those willing to loan African countries to simply wave the current debt instead of giving more,” he said.

Prof Lumumba also praised Tanzania, Guinea Bissau and others that rallied behind Madagascar‘s found medicine for COVID-19, stating that African countries should always rally behind fellow African country.

On April 20, Madagascar’s President Andry Rajoelina announced a breakthrough in the fight against COVID-19.

According to the World Health Organisation, there are no medicines that have been shown to prevent or cure COVID-19.