The East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) will next week resume its sitting with key bills in the offing.
The assembly will be holding its sessions in Arusha, Tanzania, next Tuesday from September 16th, 2018 until October 6th, 2018.
Among the key items at the Sitting include the debate on the East African Community Statistics Bill, 2017 and the East African Community Customs Management (Amendment Bill) (No 2), 2017.
According to information from the East African Community secretariat, the EAC Statistics Bureau Bill, 2017, seeks to establish the Statistics Bureau as an Institution of the Community under Article 9 of the Treaty and Article 21 of the Protocol on Establishment of the EAC Monetary Union.
“The Bill provides for the functions, powers, governance and its funding with a view to establishing the institution responsible for statistics in a bid to support the East African Monetary Union.” The statement read in part.
The Bill is in line with Article 21 (c ) of the Protocol on the Establishment of the EAC Monetary Union which provides for the Summit, on the recommendation of the EAC Council of Ministers to establish an institution responsible for statistics as one of the institutions to back the EAC Monetary Union.
On the other hand, the EAC Customs Management (Amendment) (No 2) Bill, 2018, is intended to provide for customs administration to receive advance information regarding the goods being moved across national border(s) ahead of the arrival of the vessels carrying the goods.
In order to facilitate this, the Assembly anticipates to amend section 24 of the previous EAC Customs Management Act to require a master or agent of a vessel to provide advance information relating to consignment in the vessel. The Bill was introduced to the House by the Chairperson of the Council of Ministers, Rt Hon Dr Ali-Haji Kirunda Kivejinja during the Plenary in Nairobi in May 2018.
Both Bills sailed through the First Reading and were committed to the Committee on Communication, Trade and Investment (CTI), which is carrying out the public hearings this week in Arusha.
Other significant issues at the forthcoming Plenary are key meetings of the legislators with the EAC Executive.
The EAC Council of Ministers and the Secretary General are expected to interact with the Committee on Accounts on the EAC Audited Accounts for the Financial Year ending 30th June, 2017. A similar meeting with the Committee of Trade and Investment shall also be held to enable the Committee and the Secretary General to deliberate on the EAC Customs Management (Amendment) (No 2) Bill, 2018 and the EAC Statistics Bureau Bill, 2017.
The Sitting is also to be interspersed in Week 1 by rigorous Committee work as well as further induction for Members largely on audited accounts and the EAC Budget processes and framework. The whole House will also meet with the International Committee of the Red Cross at a seminar that shall deliberate on small arms and light weapons.