The East African Community (EAC) Council of Ministers has approved an increase in the salaries of members of the East African Legislative Assembly and also passed the EAC budget for the Financial Year 2010/2011.
The decision was reached at during the 21st extraordinary meeting of the Council of Ministers that was held in Arusha, Tanzania last week.
The Council approved a $1,500 increase in the basic monthly salary for the legislators from the current US$3,300 to $4,800 and approved allocation of $1,047,892 to cater for the increase in the members’ salaries.
EAC Affairs Minister, Monique Mukaruliza, who is a member of the Council, said yesterday that the decision followed a proposal made by EALA members during a session that was held in Kampala in February this year.
“They asked for increase in salary and benefits. They were asked by the Ministers to make a proposal and this went through the Financial and Administration Committee and the decision-making organs,” Mukaruliza said.
A statement, a copy of which The New Times obtained, reads that the Council referred the proposed basic salary for EALA members to the EAC Heads of State Summit for consideration and approval.
It adds that the Council directed the Secretariat to prepare a mechanism for salary review and submit it to the 21st Meeting of the Council.
In an interview, Dan Kidega, an EALA member from Uganda, said that the assembly members were not yet aware of the decision the Council took.
“It’s still at Council level. It has not yet got to our domain,” he said. In the same meeting, the Council considered and adopted the EAC budget for the Financial Year 2010/2011, which will be referred to EALA for debate.
The budget, amounting to $59,963,040, comprises a $30,748,370 contribution by Partner States; $29,141,051 by development partners; and $73,620 from miscellaneous income.
Mukaruliza said that by now the budget should by now have been sent to EALA, considering the fact that the members will be meeting next week in Nairobi and Mombasa to debate on it.