The Speaker of East African Legislative Assembly (EALA), Daniel Fred Kidega has said that member countries have only paid 44% of the required contributions yet the financial year 2016/2017 remains with only four months to end.
The constraint has led to suspension of some activities and projects in addition to some staff working for long hours without extra payments.
EALA is conducting business in Kigali from 6th to 17th March 2017, the last general assembly before a new parliament is ushered into office on 5th June 2017.
In a press conference, Kidega has said that EALA suspended some activities of its commissions in September and October 2016 while other activities were completed within a short time which increased working hours for MPs and staff.
“Given such a scenario, Members of Parliament devoted to work without receiving their emoluments. I appreciate them for such commitment which rarely happens in other parliaments worldwide,” he said.
Study on genocide ideology jeopardized
“We had many other businesses to conduct. For instance we have a commission to study genocide ideology, trivializing it and spread of hatred words in the region.The commission can’t do the work because we have no financial means,” said Kidega.
“EALA took a decision of facilitating its commissioners to visit refugee camps in various areas in East Africa to make a report and recommendations which, too cannot be done for lack of funds,” he added.
EALA approved a budget of $450,000 in 2016 (Rwf 356 million) to be allocated to a study on genocide ideology in the region which was forfeited. Kidega observed that much as economies in the region are hard-up, EAC member states have to fulfill their pledges.
“The budget is approved by EAC council of ministers based on willingness and capacity to provide funding. We request member states to fulfill promises and bring contributions in 2016/2017 budget,” he said.
A total of $45 316 812 was set to be contributed in 2016/2017budget following August 2016 EAC council of ministers’ sitting.
At the time Tanzania had $ 356 492 in EAC arrears, Burundi with $ 5 606 800 added to $ 8 378 108 each member state should contribute in the 2016/2017 financial year.
Until October 2016 Uganda had contributed 26.37% ($ 2 209 712), Kenya with 3.94% ($ 330 306), Tanzania with 6.66% ($558 287), while Rwanda and Burundi had not yet provided any contribution.