AKANYARU - A 15 member delegation of legislators from the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) has visited the Southern Province.
The East African Community lawmakers who sit on the Communication, Trade and Investment committee of the EAC legislature arrived in the Country on Wednesday as part of a regional tour to ascertain how the East African Management Act is being implemented in the partner states.
Led by the committee’s chairperson Hon Catherine Limura, the delegation was taken through a guided tour of the Rwandan and Burundian customs departments at the border post before holding a meeting with business persons and revenue officials from both countries.
Talking about the purpose of the tour, Hon Limura said that it is important for legislators to go on the ground and see how the management act is being implemented and the challenges being faced.
She said: “Our work is to legislate but apart from this we play an oversight role to see how the law is being implemented. We need to get up close with the practical problems being faced as a result of enacting this piece of legislation.”
The customs management act, which replaced the national customs law, was passed by the EALA in 2004. It came into operation in 2005 in the EAC Countries of Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. Rwanda and Burundi as new entrants have adopted the act in July 2009.
Honourable Limura said that getting feedback from the stakeholders on the implementation of such laws is the only sure way of ascertaining its efficacy .
“Trade at the EAC and EALA is a key driver for the integration process. If trade among our five partner states is not right, it will be very difficult to convince our people that they need to adopt other forms of the building blocks of the community,” said the EALA legislator from Kenya.
Zephyr Muhigi, a field operations official with the Rwanda Revenue Authority said that the authority has decentralised some of its operations such as the issuance of the certificates but called for a harmonisation of similar processes within partner states.
“The certificates are issued by different authorities and departments in partner states. We need to harmonise this if we are to facilitate trade in the region,” said Muhigi.