EDITORIAL: EAC integration: Citizens must demand for what they are due

That citizens of the region are yearning to freely move, work and enjoy the tangible benefits of East African Community integration is not in dispute.

That citizens of the region are yearning to freely move, work and enjoy the tangible benefits of East African Community integration is not in dispute.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta reflected as much while addressing a special sitting of the East African Legislative Assembly in Nairobi on Wednesday.

Kenyatta challenged the regional parliament to do more and raise awareness of the imperative of integration to the Community citizens.

However, although the EAC integration has gained momentum, there is need for all the member countries to move on the same pace if the goals of the integration are to be achieved as planned.

When Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya sought a faster pace for regional integration, Tanzania and Burundi somehow stood akimbo, preferring to ponder over several domestic interests. The result is that citizens of the two countries are left out.

Like mobile money, free movement of labour, flow of goods and services as well as the crucial single tourist visa are moving the tripartite nations of Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya. In short, there is so much benefit of the integration in the region, but with the two countries left out; perhaps the lesson is that citizens must wake up.

The region belongs to the people. There is no reason EAC citizens should continue yearning for services that is at their disposal yet too far from their reach. The challenge is on the people to put pressure on their leaders to bring open doors to the services.

Where leaders are dragging their feet, integration will not come on a silver platter. The citizens must demand to know why they are too far from enjoyment of the services promised for decades.

 

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