Lawmakers of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) have called for the adoption of some of Rwanda’s home grown initiatives if the region is to achieve its long term objectives.
In particular, MP Nusura Tiperu (Uganda), highlighted that the monthly community cleaning programme, ‘Umuganda’ and the traditional justice courts ‘Gacaca’ if emulated by other East African countries would transform their livelihoods.
While making a presentation during an EALA plenary session, Tuesday, Tiperu praised the country’s National Dialogue initiative saying that when borrowed, it would enable East Africans in the Diaspora to regularly meet in the region and share experiences that will enable the EAC to maximally utilize its abundant natural resources.
The legislator challenged the region’s Council of Ministers to examine all the possible benefits of the programme, and if possible, include it in the community’s budget next year.
“I have put the challenge to the Council of Ministers to put this in a regional perspective to plan for the community and probably include this in next year’s budget. I’m confident that they will take it up considering what we all witnessed in Rwanda,” Tiperu said.
Another lawmaker Dr George Francis Nangale (Tanzania) said that Rwanda’s systems would promote the culture of having policies in place that are friendly and people- centred.
“A national dialogue similar to that of Rwanda would make it much easier for us to know what people think and require in terms of governance and legal frameworks. People- related initiatives are very important,” he said.
For MP Dora Byamukama (Uganda), a dialogue at regional level would lead East Africans into mapping out the kind of region they need.
She pointed out a particular case of leaders meeting just to come up with East Africa’s Constitution that would be binding for them, with guidelines on how the community objectives can be realized.
“A treaty is a treaty; it can be something between two people. Only a dialogue can help in coming up with a constitution that will particularly detail the East Africa we need,” she said.
A regional dialogue, the first of its kind, ended recently in Kigali and was called by President Paul Kagame, who is also the chairperson of the EAC Head of States Summit.
It brought together heads of institutions and organs of the EAC, and was aimed at mapping out collaborative efforts and proactive approaches that can empower the institutions and organs of the bloc to speed up the integration process.