THE East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) on Tuesday evening rejected the East African Community (EAC) audited report presented by the Accounts Committee amid allegations of misuse of money by Community officials.
The Assembly overwhelmingly opted to return the report back to Dr Ngwaru Maghembe-led committee for further amendments to include recommendations on measures against those found guilty of misusing taxpayers’ funds.
“The vote has spoken, thus the report has been rejected by most members…the committee must therefore go back and amend it, especially the matters raised by honorable members and must be brought back to the House with actionable recommendations,” advised the EALA Speaker, Mr Martin Ngoga.
Earlier on, while debating the report, a great deal of EALA MPs called for the resignation of the EAC Secretary General and other senior officials at the intergovernmental organisation.
Ms Florence Jematiah Sergon from Kenya claimed that those found culpable in the report should step aside pending investigations in allegations of misappropriation of funds marring the community.
“The Secretary General should go home and so should the finance director and the procurement officers,” said the irked EALA member.
She further requested the Council of Ministers which consists of Foreign Affairs and EAC Ministers from the six partner States to take stern measures against those implicated in the report.
Mr Simon Mbugua also from Kenya said there was need to put in place a system that would deter misuse of public funds in the EAC Secretariat.
He called upon EAC to borrow a leaf from Tanzanian President John Magufuli’s war on graft, which has won him global accolades.
“The Secretariat has never taken responsibility of the wrongs committed, let’s look for alternative ways of stopping the loot and learn from some of our EAC Heads of State,” he recommended.
One of the issues brought up by the report is procurement of Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras at the EAC at a whopping 580,000 US dollars.
The report alleges that no due diligence was followed in the purchase.
“We as a committee called upon the particular company tasked in the procurement and installment of the cameras, but were never delivered …do we have the luxury of wasting such huge sums of money,” queried Mr Abdikadir Omar Aden.