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EALA proposes sanctions against non-contributors

EAST African Legislative Assembly (EALA) has raised concern on the East African Community (EAC) funding, proposing sanctions against partner states that delay or don’t remit their contributions.

EALA members and the General Purposes Committee of the house have decried the yearly diminishing contributions by partner states amid increasing financial needs of the community.

With the 111,450,529 US dollar (over 250bn/-) budget estimates, which were tabled and approved by the house here last Friday, the development partners will support the community with 54,031,725 dollars, slightly lower than the entire budget.

EALA member from Tanzania Engineer Mohammed Mnyaa decried the funding challenges that the EAC is facing and urged the council of ministers to ensure the issues are properly addressed.

“There is evidence of declining contributions. This is why we continue facing hardships in executing some of the programmes, departmental budgets are minimal while committee budgets are also shrinking against an increasing workload,” charged the legislator, challenging fellow members to face the reality.

In 2013/14, partner states contributed 94 per cent of the budget by the end of the fiscal year and 87.5 per cent in 2014/2015. Partner states’ contributions however maintained a downward trend with 2015/16, 2016/17 and 2017/18 fiscal years recording 70.5, 79 and 65 per cent, respectively.

For the just ended 2018/2019 year, only 59 per cent of the budget estimates has so far been received. General Purposes Committee Chairman Abdikadir Aden issued the committee recommendations for the EAC to get alternative funding and sanctioning partner states that delay or don’t remit their contributions.

Key among the recommendations is for the council of ministers to finalise modalities on alternative sustainable funding mechanism for the community to enhance fund disbursement and address increasing EAC financial challenges.

Mr Aden said Article 143 of the EAC Treaty must be complied with, saying it’s necessary for imposition of sanctions against partner states that have failed to meet their financial obligations.

He claimed that many planned activities of the community were not executed due to late remittance of funds. “While the resource envelope has not increased for the last four years, the EAC has witnessed remarkable growth in terms of institutional territorial jurisdiction and volume of activities.

However, this growth has not attracted a proportionate increase in funding to address the ever- growing needs of the community. In this budget, save for about two institutions, the rest of the EAC organs and institutions have zero increase in their respective budgets,” said Mr Aden.

Council of Ministers Chairman Julius Maganda said the council was committed to ensuring sustainable funding mechanism is implemented, noting that consultations with the respective ministries of finance were underway.

He said EAC is expected to streamline and consolidate its operational systems to achieve the desired level of efficiency, accountability and value for money.

He assumed that there will be availability of adequate financial resources and remittances.

The FY 2019/20 Budget is to be financed by partner state contributions through the ministries of EAC Affairs (49,791,446 dollars), ministries for education (4,379,968 dollars) and ministries for fisheries (2,060,845 dollars).

Member universities will inject in 468,300 dollars while the miscellaneous revenue is pegged at 296,145 dollars, with the General Reserve contributing 422,100 dollars.

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Author: DEUS NGOWI in Arusha

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