PARLIAMENT - Members of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) held a press conference at parliament buildings in Kimihurura yesterday to shed light on the chief purpose of their present trip to Rwanda – the second meeting of the second session of the EALA.
Presiding over the occasion, Abdirahin Haithar Abdi, the Speaker of the Legislative arm of the five member bloc, pointed out that the EALA would use the occasion to enact important laws, among other things.
According to Abdi, these legislations will help deepen and widen the EAC integration process and that the EALA members will interact with people as well as country lawmakers to share experiences on important parliamentary and regional affairs.
“EALA’s core functions include law making, approval of the EAC budget, oversight of EAC programmes, interface with National Assemblies and making recommendations to the EAC Council of Ministers on matters of the Community,” the bloc’s Speaker underscored.
“It is important to note that laws enacted by the EAC take precedent over similar laws on matters pertaining to the Community.”
Abdi explained that during this second seating, the assembly will hold plenary and committee sessions to debate on the bloc’s appropriation bill to authorize expenditure for the next financial year, among others,” he added.
Also on the agenda are bills on: supplementary appropriation for the previous year, the Inter-University Council for East Africa, the Civil Aviation Safety and Security Oversight, Lake Victoria Basin Commission, EAC annual report, food and security situation in the region and amendmending the bloc’s emblem.
The emblem’s amendment bill comes in after the admission of Rwanda and Burundi into the regional grouping in July last year.
Abdi also pointed out that his group would participate in observing the upcoming parliamentary elections and emphasised that the EALA attached great importance to credible and peaceful elections.
“We want peaceful elections and we wish the people of Rwanda well. The country is peaceful and we hope it continues that way,” Abdi said while responding to reporters’ questions shortly after his initial statement.
He told reporters that the assembly would however not tackle issues such as the French and Spanish judge indictments of some of the country’s top officials and the pursuit of Genocide fugitives.
“We feel for the people of Rwanda but right now it is not on our agenda to discuss the issue,” he said of the Genocide fugitives’ matter, adding that the Assembly also couldn’t go beyond what Heads-of-State decided during their recent summit in Sham El-Sheik, Egypt on the foreign judges’ controversial indictments.
Abdi was accompanied by Monique Mukaruliza, the Rwandan Minister to the EAC and other EALA legislators.