Disaster risk reduction tops agenda as EALA sessions resume next week

The East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) will resume business next week, with a plenary session in Arusha, Tanzania, starting August 19 through to August 30.
 Delegates from the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA)duringa sesseion in Kigali in May.  The New Times/John Mbanda.
Delegates from the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA)duringa sesseion in Kigali in May. The New Times/John Mbanda.

The East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) will resume business next week, with a plenary session in Arusha, Tanzania, starting August 19 through to August 30.

The session is expected to among others discuss the EAC Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Bill, 2013 and the bill on public holidays in the bloc and pose questions to the council of ministers, according to a statement from the EALA.

Also, sources in Arusha say the recent expulsion of Rwandans and Tanzanians of Rwandan origin, by the government of Tanzania is likely to take centre stage as this has threatened to endanger “the spirit of East Africanism.”

 About 5,000 Rwandans have been received in Kirehe District after being evicted from the Kagera region in the north-western part of Tanzania since last week.

 “This does not fit in the spirit of East Africanism.  In my view, if we are one, then refugees are those from ‘outside of the region’.  It negates what the Common Market currently portrays - free movement of persons and settlement,” an EAC official who preferred anonymity told The New Times.

When contacted yesterday, Rwandan EALA delegate Patricia Hajabakiga declined to comment on the issue saying “we haven’t discussed anything of the sort as we haven’t yet reached there.”

Another issue that is likely to be discussed is the contentious proposal by the Speaker of the regional parliament to stop the rotational arrangement of the EALA sittings, restricting them to Arusha, which has drawn ire of the different lawmakers.

Meanwhile, prior to the actual EALA plenary session, Tanzanian President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete is expected to address a special conference on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that marks the Silver Jubilee of the Global Parliamentarians on Habitat (GPH) on August 19, at the EAC Headquarters.

The two-day meeting brings together about 150 legislators from the EAC region and the continent, representatives from the civil society, environmentalists and the UN-Habitat.

25 years of GPH

The GPH is an international organisation of Parliamentarians whose members are committed to sustainable urban development. The objectives of the meeting is to celebrate 25 years of GPH’s existence and to showcase significant achievements, challenges and come up with feasible solutions on the way forward, reads part of an EAC statement.

“One appreciates that there are intricacies in realising the MDGs.  Are we doing enough to enable the globe realise Shelter for all by 2015 among others?  I think we can do more,” EALA Speaker Margaret Nantongo Zziwa is quoted in a statement as saying.

She reportedly remarked that some governments had left the role entirely to local governments with little or no tools, meager resources and inadequate human capacity to handle the challenge.

Subscribe to The New Times E-Paper


You want to chat directly with us? Send us a message on WhatsApp at +250 788 310 999    

 

Follow The New Times on Google News