The Minister for East African Community (EAC) affairs, Monique Mukaruliza, yesterday revealed that finalisation of annexes and other issues regarding the common tariff are in full gear ahead of the signing of the protocol in November.
Addressing the press, Mukaruliza clarified three of the major freedoms related to the common market that had been forwarded by the Multi- sectoral council to the Heads of State Summit for guidance.
“Guidance by the summit concerning the article of free movement of persons by use of identity documents within the community, is that national identification may among other standard travel documents facilitate free movement of holders but in partner states that would have accepted its use,” she said.
In relation to the right of establishment, Mukaruliza said that the Heads of State agreed that partner states shall enable a national of one partner state to access and use land and premises in the territory of another state.
The regional leaders also added that this establishment should be in accordance with the national laws of the partner states.
The Minister also clarified the issue of permanent residence as decided by the Summit.
“Head of States agreed that there will be no automaticity but eligibility to get a permanent residence therefore any citizen of a partner state who will have resided in another partner state for more than five years shall be eligible for permanent residence.”
She however quickly added that this status shall be given upon undergoing necessary administration procedures in a competent authority. According the Minister, once the protocol is signed, it will be effective in January next year.
The EAC is the regional inter-governmental organisation of the Republics of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Republic of Burundi and Republic of Rwanda with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.
The EAC aims at widening and deepening co-operation among the Partner states hence promoting political, economic and social arenas of the sister countries.