Three key Bills are scheduled for debate as the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) resumes its sitting in Nairobi, Kenya this week.
They include the EAC Forestry and Management Protection Bill, 2015; the EAC Electronic Transactions Bill, 2014; and the EAC Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Bill, 2015.
The upcoming plenary which starts today and ends October 15, is the Second Meeting of the Fourth Session of the Third Assembly.
EALA is now set to revisit debate on the EAC Electronic Transactions Bill, which was deferred at the last Sitting in Kampala, Uganda to pave way for additional stakeholders to make their input in the Bill that seeks to meet the need of exploiting electronic transactions in the modern day business transactions.
Debate was deferred, in August, after Dr. Abdallah Saadaala, Tanzania’s assistant Minister for EAC Cooperation, as Chairperson of the Council, and several lawmakers, pleaded with the Assembly to accord the standing committee on Communication, Trade and Investment (CTI) more time to conduct consultations and enrich the Bill.
The EAC Forestry and Management Protection Bill, 2015 hopes to promote the development, protection, conservation, sustainable management and use of the forests in the Community especially trans-boundary forests ecosystems, in the interest of present and future generations.
It further wants to espouse the scientific, cultural and socio-economic values of forests and harmonise national forest laws.
On the other hand, the Objective of the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Bill, 2015 is to provide a legal framework at regional and national level for timely intervention in disaster situations and to protect the people and the natural environment affected by disaster through comprehensive disaster risk reduction and management.
During the two-week period, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta will be expected to address a Special Sitting of the Assembly.
The Assembly is also expected to debate on and pass key pieces of legislation, adopt reports and pose questions to the Council of Ministers.
Report on Burundi refugees to be tabled
The House is also expected to receive and debate on a number of reports, including that of the Committee on Regional Affairs on the goodwill mission to Kigoma, Tanzania and the Eastern Province of Rwanda to interact with refugees from Burundi.
In August, the team of MPs who toured Rwanda and Tanzania in June to assess the status of Burundian refugees requested for more time to compile their report.
The Committee on Communications, Trade and Investments on its part will table for debate its Report on the oversight of EAC One-Stop Border Posts (OSBP).
At its last Sitting in Uganda in August, the Assembly passed the EAC Culture and Creative Industries Bill, 2015, adopted three Resolutions as well as six Reports.