Arusha — Strengthening economic and political ties as well as the regional institutions awaits the new East African Community (EAC) secretary general.
Dr Peter Mathuki from Kenya, who was yesterday appointed the new EAC boss, will have to steer the bloc to a new level short of persistent disputes. "I solemnly swear to discharge my duties to the interest of the Community," affirmed the outspoken Kenyan politician in his oath during the virtual summit.
Until his appointment Dr Mathuki has been the chief executive officer of the East African Business Council (EABC) one of the institutions spearheading economic integration. Before then (2012-2017), he was a Kenyan member of the East African Legislative Assembly (Eala) during which he was one of the most vocal lawmakers.
The new EAC boss landed in Arusha for the first time 15 years ago when he worked as a consultant for the East African Trade Union Confederation (EATUC), which is affiliated to the EAC. "He is not new to EAC," said Mr Yufnalis Okubo, the Registrar of the East African Court of Justice (EACJ) when he officiated the swearing in of various new officials.
The choice of Dr Mathuki came as a surprise especially given the apparent tug-of-war between Kenya and South Sudan as to which country would produce the next SG.
Earlier speculation had been on Ababu Namwamba, a senior Kenyan government official much fronted by speculators if Nairobi was to get the slot.