East Africa: EALA Suspends Budget Debate Over Missing Ministers

The East African Legislative Assembly on Tuesday suspended debate on the East African Community budget after ministers skipped the sitting.

Only Burundian EAC Minister Isabelle Ndahayo was present.

The legislators said the ministers had stopped taking the House seriously.

"It seems that the assembly is not being taken seriously. We will only proceed with debating and approving the budget when members of the Council of Ministers are present," said Rose Akol, a lawmaker from Uganda.

The Treaty Establishing the East African Community requires the Secretary General to prepare a budget for consideration by the Council and presentation and approval by the Assembly.

Last week Tanzania's Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and EAC Damas Ndumbaro presented the EAC $111.45 million Budget in the Assembly on behalf of Richard Sezibera, Rwandan Foreign Minister, who is the Council chair.

The stalemate could leave EAC programmes in limbo due to lack of funding.

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