17 December 2012

East Africa: Region's Secretariat Staff Short of Housing

Photo: Unhabitat
Urban housing project in Ilala, Dar-es-Salaam (file photo).

Arusha — The East African Community (EAC) secretariat is yet to put in place a housing policy despite a proposal by the Heads of State Summit at its ordinary meeting held in June 2008.

The meeting noted that it was time for a policy geared towards building houses for key staff.

A report released by the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) spokesman Bobi Odiko said that currently, the community does not have a specific housing policy but is guided by the provisions of Regulation 42 (1) of the Staff Rules and Regulations which provides that all members of staff shall be entitled to a monthly housing allowance where no housing is provided by the Community.

EALA member Patricia Hajabakiga sought to know how far the secretariat had gone in implementing the summit decision during the recent assembly's session held in Arusha Tanzania.

She also wanted to know how much money has EAC spent on paying for accommodation for the EAC Key personnel from July 2008.

She said that the Summit at its ordinary meeting of 26th June 2008 held in Kigali, decided that the time had come for the East African Community to put in place a housing policy geared at acquiring and/or constructing houses for all key Community staff.

The Summit further requested that banks, other financial institutions as well as Social Security Funds be approached with a view to restructuring mortgage lending for affecting the housing policy.

The report therefore said that all staff of the Community are paid a housing allowance ranging from $3,000 for the highest grade D2 to US$ 300 for the lowest grade G1.

The Community also pays a monthly housing allowance for some special categories of persons including the following East African Court of Justice including the Judge President who gets $3,000 per month, the Principle Judge gets $2,500 per month and the Registry Clerks who are based in Partner States getting $400 per month.

The report further explained that the East African Legislative Assembly Speaker also gets $3,000 while project staff is paid depending on the funding agreement.

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