Dar es Salaam: The outgoing EAC Secretary General, Juma Mwapachu, yesterday paid glowing tribute to his successor, Dr Richard Sezibera, describing him as having the interpersonal skills to move the EAC to even greater heights.
“Richard has the youth, the temperament, the intellect, the diplomatic etiquette and President Paul Kagame could not nominate a better person for this high office,”
“It is a pleasure for me to hand over to Dr Sezibera and I wish him well,” Mwapachu told reporters yesterday.
Mwapachu said that although Sezibera is coming in at a time when negotiations are underway for what, he said, is a more complicated stage of integration – the Monetary Union - he was optimistic that his successor will steer through successfully.
“The Monetary Union negotiations are more complicated compared to the Common Market because they involve convergence of monetary policies – but I know him as a person who is quick to learn and he will handle this successfully,” Mwapachu said.
The outgoing EAC boss noted that there are many and various challenges that come with the bloc’s top job, including the constant need to convince development partners to continue supporting the EAC budget which is 50-percent donor funded.
In his emotional farewell speech, Mwapachu told hundreds of delegates that; “Welcomes are always easier to pronounce, farewells, on the other hand, are inevitably filled with tears of joy, but also of sadness.”
He summarized his message by using the English poet and Novelist George Eliot’s words, that; “Only in the agony of parting do we look into the depth of love.”