DAR ES SALAAM - The government has commissioned a team of experts to look into all laws that affect or would be affected by the East African Common Market.
The Common Market started in July 1, this year, after Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi leaders signed the protocol at a colourful ceremony in Arusha.
The minister for East Africa Cooperation, Dr Diodorus Kamala, told reporters in his office yesterday that the team comprises officials from the ministries of Finance and Economic Affairs; Labour, Employment and Youth Development; Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development; Home Affairs (Immigration Department) as well as the Attorney General’s chamber.
Unveiling the team yesterday, Dr Kamala said the terms of reference for the team were to advice the government on laws that were hampering the Common Market agreement.
“The team is required to advise the government on prevailing issues; not to come up with new issues... Its report will help the government to seal loopholes in our laws,” Mr Kamala observed.
He added that the government would not look at personal or individual interests when amending the laws because it wanted them (laws) to fall in line with the requirements of the EA Common Market.
He urged the team to put national interests ahead during the work and to adhere to what Tanzania stood for on specific matters.
The minister said the team would submit its report by Nov 30 and the government would immediately review all laws that hamper the Common Market agreement.
He said currently all five countries were using their existing laws and regulations to monitor the movement of people, goods and services within the region but Tanzania still needed to deal with loopholes within its laws.
“On issues of land, permanent residence and others, East Africans who want to move from one country to another are now required to observe the national laws of host countries,” he said.
He added: “We have our own procedures which, for instance, allow foreigners to apply for citizenship after staying here for 10 years… We don’t want to have a situation whereby some people automatically become citizens without going through the established process.”