MPs discuss evictions of Rwandans from Tanzania

The East African Community (EAC), should use appropriate channels to sort problems affecting citizens of any partner state, outgoing Speaker of Parliament Rose Mukantabana told lawmakers yesterday.
About 4,000 Rwandans have been received in Kirehe District after being evicted from the Kagera region in the north-western part of Tanzania since last week.  The New Times/Timothy Kisambira.
About 4,000 Rwandans have been received in Kirehe District after being evicted from the Kagera region in the north-western part of Tanzania since last week. The New Times/Timothy Kisambira.

The East African Community (EAC), should use appropriate channels to sort problems affecting citizens of any partner state, outgoing Speaker of Parliament Rose Mukantabana told lawmakers yesterday.

She was briefing MPs about last Thursday’s meeting of the Parliament’s Bureau, where matters concerning the eviction of Rwandans from Tanzania were discussed.

The Bureau, made up of the Speaker, president of the Senate and heads of House committees, comforted the returnees, rallied for their support and lauded government for the effort put in facilitating the affected people.

The MPs met yesterday for an extraordinary session convened to pass two Bills – one on genocide ideology and another establishing the general statutes for public service.

Mukantabana said: “The final outcome of our discussions was the appreciation that within the East African Community, if a problem arose, it can be discussed at a diplomatic level, and a solution worked out in a mutual manner.”

The Speaker stressed that it was important information she had to share with MPs though it was not time for debate on the matter.  About 4,000 Rwandans have been received in Kirehe District after being evicted from the Kagera region in the north-western part of Tanzania since last week.

Two Bills passed

Earlier, lawmakers examined and approved the Senate’s work on the Bill establishing the general statutes for the country’s public service, and finally passed it.  The Bill had been passed earlier this month.

The Bill establishing the general statutes for the country’s public service, among others, states that a civil servant granted a long-term sick leave shall be entitled to his or her salary during the first three months of the leave, and two thirds of their salary in the subsequent three months.

The Bill also has a provision under which public service employees must desist from the habit of forfeiting their annual leave, because of the monetary incentives that come with it.

 Also finally passed yesterday was the Bill on Genocide Ideology, after lawmakers approved a joint Senate-Chamber of Deputies’ report.

The House had on July 15 passed the Bill on Genocide Ideology, which in essence, will overhaul the 2008 law punishing the crime of Genocide Ideology.

It is hoped the new legislation will address queries about the current law, which some say is ambiguous, lacks clarity and limits free speech.

The new Bill, among others, clearly outlines the different acts that constitute genocide ideology, including incitement to commit genocide; negation of the Genocide against the Tutsi, trivialising the Genocide against the Tutsi; justifying the Genocide against the Tutsi; and hiding or destroying evidence of genocide or of other crimes against humanity.

Kagame to dissolve Parliament

Meanwhile, President Paul Kagame is expected to dissolve Parliament today to pave way for the September 16 elections.

Before officially ending their final ordinary session, last week, lawmakers highlighted that the outgoing House attained 96.6 per cent of its legislative assignments, which has played a significant role in uplifting the country under the four main pillars of the economy, good governance, justice and social welfare.

The outgoing Chamber of Deputies started its mandate on October 6, 2008, and ended on August 5.

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