The East African Legislative Assembly (EALA), deeply concerned by the poor financial situation of the East African Community, has passed a resolution urging the Council of Ministers to immediately convene under matters of urgency to solve the financial crisis in the community. Sanctions should be imposed on the partner states which do not accomplish their duties.
The East African Legislative Assembly wants Council of Ministers to invoke provisions of the Treaty (Article 14 and Article 143) to warn the partner states that are defaulting in meeting their obligations. "EALA has moved to establish a select committee to investigate the matter of financial paralysis and to report back to the House", said EALA MP Nancy Abisai when she moved on a motion on the situation of the EAC budget at the end of the EALA session held in Kigali, this 17 March.
Unlike other EAC member states, Burundi has not contributed any amount to the community’s financial year budget (0.00%) leaving an outstanding of US$ 8,378,108 (100%) excluding arrears for the previous year amounting to US$ 771,037.
For fiscal year 2016/17 remittances from Uganda were the highest with 91.53 percent ($7,668,419), followed by Kenya at 52.4 percent ($4,395,707), Rwanda at 48.07 percent ($4,027,316) and Tanzania at 30.47 percent with $2.553.203. Each of the five EAC member states is required to make a contribution of $8,378,108 per financial year and before 31st December.
The Burundian Minster in Charge of EAC affairs, Léontine Nzeyimana said Burundi is preparing to pay the first part of the allowances. She also said EALA has no right to impose sanctions on any member state. This was said when the EALA stated that Burundi could be sent to the regional court due to the failure to pay its financial contribution to the EAC.
Over the past few days, five Burundian MPs boycotted the 5th EALA session fearing for their safety. Daniel Kidega, Speaker of the EALA threatened to punish five Burundian lawmakers who boycotted the Kigali session.
Léonce Ndarubagiye, 75, and one of the 5 MPs who had boycotted the session before, joined it on 9 March.
Phillippe Nzobonariba, Spokesperson for the Government said the Burundi EALA MP who attended the session had nothing to worry about. "He is too old. None would dare to kill him".
Nzobonariba said that the government cannot prevent people from traveling to Rwanda being aware that some of their fellow Burundians have been killed in that country. "Burundi should not stop people who sacrifice themselves", he said.