The ongoing internal strife in the East Africa Legislative Assembly (EALA) following an attempt by some members to impeach the Speaker, Margret Nantongo Zziwa, is a highly regrettable and costly affair.
Both sides of the divide insist they have legitimate reasons to stick to their guns, with those behind the censure motion accusing the Speaker of incompetence while her backers argue that those who want her out are simply driven by greed and selfish interests.
What’s certain is that the ongoing bickering is not in the spirit of the EAC integration process and therefore threatens to paralyse the running of the regional parliament.
An investigation needs to be commissioned into the squabbling and those responsible be held answerable.
If the Speaker committed any wrong, it should be clearly communicated to the EAC citizens – who are the most important stakeholders in the integration process – and action taken accordingly, but if she is a victim of a calculated move by a group of self-seekers then those behind the standoff should be squarely held accountable.
The ongoing crisis at EALA is indeed a distraction from the real issues that the ordinary EAC citizens and other stakeholders want to see addressed.
A recent report indicated that Non-Tariff Barriers remained a major stumbling block to the achievement of the integration agenda, while the partner states are expected to implement a 10-year blueprint, agreed upon last year, which would ultimately result in the bloc’s Monetary Union.
These and other issues are matters that need the undivided attention of EALA members, and therefore, it is a shame to see the Honourable Members stuck locked in simplistic arguments at the expense of the greater EAC cause.
It’s about time reason prevailed over emotion.