The East African Community’s (EAC) finances have always been standing on a precarious precipice. It has relied heavily on the goodwill of donors to stay afloat.
Therefore, the news coming out of Arusha that the EAC is mulling emulating the African Union’s self-financing formula was most welcome.
That is if it takes off.
Even then, it has come to light of late, that the community’s meager resources were the subject of consistent attacks by some unscrupulous people.
Reports have been commissioned and compiled that show that not all is well in the EAC. The most recent being the fraudulent transfer of the community’s funds only to be returned when the whistle had been blown.
What seems to be fueling these audacious improprieties is the lethargic state of affairs within the EAC. There is bureaucratic foot-dragging or just plain cover-up.
The only way to discourage those with intent to loot the community’s coffers is prompt action by the Council of Ministers. This would act as a deterrent for would-be fraudsters.
How long will the foreign donors keep up with unfettered theft of their donations and the apparent impunity? How about the East Africans?
Leave that aside; if the EAC’s plans to self-finance finally take off (though in the current scenario it would be a long shot) who will guarantee its safety?
For the EAC to truly serve its purpose and deliver for its citizens, its organs have to reinvent themselves and act swiftly without fear or favour.