KIGALI - Chief Justices from Partner States of the East African Community (EAC), meeting in Kigali since yesterday, have reaffirmed the need for their collective efforts against corruption as they discussed the regional framework on good governance.
Over 30 senior judges from top judicial institutions from Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Uganda, and Kenya are meeting for a two-day conference to make an input into the draft document of the framework that will guide EAC’s good governance practices.
“The courts are the guardians of the citizens,” said Rwanda’s Chief Justice, Aloysie Cyanzaire, at the opening of the conference that is taking place at Kigali Serena Hotel.
She urged fellow judges to cooperate in the promotion of the rule of law and the promotion of good governance in the bloc by inspiring other actors in leadership.
“We can’t achieve good governance without well-performing judicial institutions that fight against corruption,” she told the media in an interview shortly after the official opening of the meeting.
Once adopted, the East African Community Framework on Good Governance will be a legally binding document agreed on by EAC partner states.
Its drafting is currently under the EAC Secretariat that consults different organs within the community to enrich it.
“We would like to consult as many partners as possible before the adoption if the document,” said Beatrice Kiraso, EAC’s Deputy Secretary General.
She said that it was important to involve chief justices in the preparation of the framework before it is adopted given their role in the good governance process.
“They are the chief executors of our judicial requirements,” she told journalists.
The framework suggests pillars that help achieve good governance in the EAC region as being democracy and harmonization of democratization processes, promotion and protection of human rights and equal opportunities.
It also encourages preventing and combating corruption, enhancing ethics and integrity; and upholding the rule of law and justice.
Kiraso said that the agreement will be adopted and then ratified by Partner States of the bloc before becoming a legally binding document.
She however said that it will likely happen after at least six more months to allow enough consultations among different institutions in partner states.