KIGALI - The Minister for East African Community, Monique Mukaruriza, has said that Rwanda is ready to provide asuitable candidate to head the regional bloc.
Mukaruriza was reacting to reports in regional media outlets, claiming that Rwanda and Burundi, as new entrants in the community are not well acquainted with the integration process and hence should not hold positions of the Secretary General of the EAC.
The reports come in a wake of the imminent replacement of the current EAC Secretary General, Tanzanian Juma Mwampachu, whose second, five-year term expires in April Next year.
She dismissed the reports as baseless and unfounded, saying that principles of EAC are built on mutual trust, equality, political will and equitable distribution of benefits to all member states.
“Based on EAC principles, no partner state is of second rate. Henceforth, the (heads of state) Summit agreed that all partners should financially contribute equally in order to enjoy equal rights and responsibilities,” Mukaruriza said in a statement.
“Therefore, all partner states including Rwanda and Burundi are politically and technically capable to hold any position in the community.”
She also said that in accordance to the community’s principle of rotation, it would now be the turn of either Rwanda or Burundi to take up the position of the General Secretariat, which has been occupied by the three original members of the bloc; Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.
“It should be made categorically clear on which country to provide a candidate for the position of the EAC Secretary General. All speculation must stop and the public should entrust this matter with the summit,” Mukaruriza added.
The appointment of the Secretary General is the prerogative of the summit in accordance with Article 67 of the EAC Treaty which stipulates that: “The Secretary General shall be appointed by the summit upon nomination by the relevant Head of State under the principle of rotation, and the Secretary General shall serve a 5 year term.”
The Treaty for Establishment of EAC was signed in 1999 and entered into force in 2000 following its ratification by the original three Partner States, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.
Rwanda and Burundi acceded to the EAC Treaty on 18th June 2007 and became full members in July 2007.