Former Minister of Gender and Family Promotion, Odda Gasinzigwa was Wednesday elected to the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) and has vowed to champion women empowerment at the regional level.
The 49 year old mother of four, who had also served as Chief Gender Monitor, was elected to replace Christopher Bazivamo at the regional legislative body.
Bazivamo was in June this year appointed Deputy Secretary General in charge of Finance and Administration.
During the election conducted by a joint parliamentary session, Gasinzigwa contested Callixte Kanamugire another former public servant, and secured a landslide win of 71 votes out of 75 lawmakers present.
She will now join eight other compatriots at the Arusha based legislative body that has nine representatives from each of the five East African Community Partner States.
Speaking shortly after her election, Gasinzigwa said that her role would be to collaborate with others to foster integration undertakings; economic, social and political, on top of the core mandate which is legislation.
“For me it is a good opportunity to work closely with other members of EALA to ensure our bloc prospers in different areas. The new task will also be about balancing what are the priorities of the countries and also the needs of EAC citizens in general;
“It is an interesting docket because I am going to work with others, I know the vision of my country, priorities and challenges through the experience earned in different positions in which I was blessed to serve, thus when you know all these, it is never hard,” she said.
The new elected member also talked about her passion to promote and advocate for gender equality and women empowerment, saying that it is one of other key pillars at the EAC Protocol.
“It is also an opportunity again to go beyond borders and share my experience with others and advocate for some of the issues around gender based violence, poverty, human trafficking, among others. It’s an opportunity to learn and bring back the experience to my people,” she added.
Reacting to her election, MP Zeno Mutimura, chairperson of the parliamentary committee in charge of foreign affairs, cooperation and security, expressed high hopes saying that newly elected member has a strong experience behind her, saying he had no doubt she would make an enormous contribution to the regional assembly.
Members of EALA have less than one year left on their five-year term.Follow https://twitter.com/Rodra02