EAC urged to iron out political differences

Monday, April 26th, 2021 00:00 |
From left: Kajiado Governor Joseph ole Lenku, Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka and his Ford Kenya counterpart Moses Wetang’ula received by EALA MP Simon Mbugua at East Africa Assembly Grounds in Arusha, Tanzania, on Friday to witness installation of Dr Peter Mathuki as the new EAC Secretary General. Photo/Courtesy

Rawlings Otieno

One Kenya Alliance principals Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetang’ula have challenged the East Africa Community (EAC) leadership to depoliticise the integration of the community in an effort to speed up its actualisation.

The two, both former Foreign Ministers and worked in the process of reviving the community, said it has taken longer than expected and anticipated by the founding fathers of the community for actualisation of the treaty.

Kalonzo who served as the first Chair of the inter-ministerial tripartite commission tasked to revive the East African Community, further argued that there are some thorny political issues in the region and urged the East African nations to iron issues.

“Fellow East Africans, let us get rid of any suspicions in our midst, as one of you, I do know there are thorny issues in the region, I want to urge that we iron out any political differences in our midst and be able to build a community that will be the pride of Africa,” said Kalonzo.

Top candidate

Speaking during a dinner hosted by East Africa Business Council in honour of the new East Africa Community Secretary General Dr Peter Mathuki in Arusha, the Wiper boss said EAC must get rid of any political suspicions and build one formidable community.

Dr Mathuki, a long-term Executive Director of the East African Business Council, emerged the top candidate after corporate bodies proposed his name to President Uhuru Kenyatta as someone capable of converging different views from member States. 

Dr Mathuki replaced Burundi’s Liberat Mfumukeko, whose five-year term ended.

He comes on as the region implements the Africa Continental Free Trade Area agreement, where he has been involved in the creation of the nascent African Business Council. Kalonzo further challenged the East Africa Legislative Assembly to prioritise legislation on matters free movement of goods and services.

“As a lawyer, I want to come and establish my practice here in Arusha, that I believe is the way to go,” said Kalonzo.

On his part, Wetang’ula challenged the community to think of more integration within ember States through members of the assembly being elected directly by the people. Wetang’ula said this model will help in informing member State citizens what East Africa Community is, what East Africa Parliament is and the benefits of integration.

EAC Cabinet Secretary Aden Mohamed, Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka, Transport Chief Administrative Secretary Wavinya Ndeti and Kenya’s envoy in Uganda Kiema Kilonzo represented the Kenyan Government.

Kajiado Governor Joseph ole Lenku, Nairobi Deputy Governor Ann Kananu, 11 MPs and eight MCAs also attended.

Mathuki holds an MBA and PhD in Strategic Management and Regional Integration from the University of Nairobi, Kenya. He has served in several regional and international organisations.

Dr Mathuki previously served as a Member of Parliament of the East African Legislative Assembly, where he chaired Legal Affairs and Good Governance Committee and served in the committees of Accounts, Trade and Investment.

Prior to this, he also served as a Director in-charge of International Labour Standards at the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions which later became International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC-Africa).

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