THE East African Community (EAC) is ready to fill the 49 vacant posts in its organs and institutions after the Council of Ministers approved the move.
The Council decided about the composition of a panel to undertake the recruitment, which will be competitive.
The Council, as a once off measure, gave guidance on undertaking the recruitment of staff using a mechanism whereby members of the panel from the Secretariat have an equal voice alongside other members of the panel from partner states for attributing marks to the candidates.
In its 42nd Extra-Ordinary Meeting held virtually, the Council added that at both the shortlisting and interviewing levels, there should be seven persons, one from the secretariat, organ, institution and six from the partner states, awarding marks from which the average will be obtained.
Some of the positions that have been vacant for almost two years include those of the clerk and deputy clerk to the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA).
The Council further rescinded the decisions of the 39th Meeting of Council directing the EAC Ad hoc Service Commission to undertake the recruitments.
The recruitment process has been in limbo after the then Secretary General and the East African Law Society questioned the legality of the Ad Hoc Service Commission at the East African Court of Justice.
The Council further directed the Secretariat to re-advertise all the previously advertised positions. It also directed the Secretariat to request the Court to expedite the hearing of the case challenging the legality of the Ad hoc Commission as a matter of urgency in order to enable the Council to perform its mandate to amend the Staff Rules and Regulations 2006.
The admission of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) received a major boost after the Council adopted a budget amounting to 188,150 US dollars (about 450m/-) for the next financial year beginning July 1st, 2021 to be drawn from the EAC General Reserve Fund for activities related to the admission of Congo into the Community, and referred the same to EALA for debate and approval.
The monies will, among other things, be spent on a verification mission to be conducted by the EAC on the admission of Congo as a member.
The verification mission will consist of officials from the EAC organs and institutions as well as from the six partner states.
The Summit of EAC Heads of State at its 21st ordinary meeting held on February 27th, this year considered a request by Congo to join the Community and directed the Council to undertake a verification mission in accordance with the EAC procedure for admission of new members into the Community and report to the 22nd meeting of the Summit.
The meeting was chaired by Kenya's Chief Administrative Secretary in the Ministry of EAC and Regional Development, Mr Ken Obura and attended by Ambassador Ezechiel Nibigira (Minister for EAC Affairs, Youth, Sports and Culture, Burundi), Deng Alor Kuol (Minister for EAC Affairs, South Sudan), Professor Nshuti Manasseh (Minister of State for EAC Affairs, Rwanda), Major General Kahinda Otafiire (Minister for EAC Affairs, Uganda) and Professor Palamagamba Kabudi (Minister for Constitutional and Legal Affairs, Tanzania).
Also in attendance at the meeting was the EAC Secretary General, Dr Peter Mathuki. This was Dr Mathuki's first Council meeting since assuming office on 26th April this year.