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The East African : Nov 24th 2014
4 THE PATH TO REGIONAL INTEGRATION EAC leaders meet to decide on constitution of political federation If the leade≥s pass the p≥oposal, it will pave the way fo≥ the final phase of ≥egional integ≥ation By CHRISTABEL LIGAMI Special Correspondent E ast Africa enters the most decisive stage in its ambi- tious quest for a political union this week when the five heads of state launch the writing of a federal constitution and issue a time frame for establishment of a regional government. Political integration, which is the top agenda for the 16th Ordinary EAC Heads of State Summit scheduled for November 30 in Nairobi, would pave the way for a strong authority to reinforce implementation of the other stages of integration — the Common Market, the Monetary Union and the Customs Union. The presidents of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda are expected to make a final decision on what form political federation will take before the draft constitution is put in place. The presidents of South Sudan and Somalia, who have applied to join EAC, will be watching the proceedings with interest. Among the things that the EAC presidents are expected to decide on is whether the political federation is to be under a two-tier structure with a federal entity and constituent state governments or a one-tier structure. Under a two-tier arrange- ment, the federation would have a leader, with partner states sharing foreign policy, defence, currency, and economic and trade policies, even as they manage those domestic affairs that do not have a regional dimen- sion. The best example of a two-tier system is the Union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar, which formed the United Republic of Tanzania. While Zanzibar has its own elected government, it has to operate under the Union government in terms of foreign policy and international relations. A one-tier system would see all member countries come under one president, with uniform policies and all citizens to be involved in the election of the federal president. During their last summit in Kampala last year, the EAC heads of state directed partner states to hold consultations and agree on the final draft of the roadmap before it is presented to the Summit this year for approval. 2016 deadline Early this year, EAC minis- ters were directed to initiate the process of drafting a constitution for the political federation ahead of the 2016 deadline. A proposal by the ministers shows that the federal state will comprise an executive, legislature and judiciary, with functions based on the principle of separation of powers among the three organs. Constituent states of the federation will remain autonomous on matters that do not fall under the federal government. The powers and functions proposed for the federal government will be informed by international practice: It will have control over defence and secu- rity, foreign affairs and international trade, immigration, infrastructure development and the federal public service, among other things. The constituent states will be expected to implement federal laws and policies. Prof Peter Kagwanja, execu- tive director of the Africa Policy Institute, said that while the pillars of the economic federation have been established and the drafting of a regional constitution can take a short time, implementing it would take much longer. He pointed out two chal- lenges. One, the exploitation of mineral resources in the region, estimated as being about $5 trillion, has major political implications, which may delay the realisation of the federation. Two, there is the status of Zanzibar, which already has a federation arrangement with Tanganyika, and the place of the kingdoms of Uganda. “The regional constitution must clearly define what will be federation issues, while at the same time leaving national issues intact,” said Prof Kagwanja. The EAC countries have agreed that the presidency of the federation should be rotational, based on defined criteria, and that this should be the preserve of sitting presidents. So long as partner states are members of the EAC, AU and UN, they have already ceded a portion of their sovereignty.” Dr Ben Sihanya, UoN The EastAfrican NEWS NOVEMBER 22-28,2014 But this is where a major chal- lenge lies, because the partner states have to decide whether the president will be elected through a collegiate system or universal suffrage. If it is rotational, then it may well turn out to be the responsibility of the partner state concerned to pick their person, just as happens with the EAC Secretary-General’s position. Prof Kagwanja argued that a rotational presidency would not be an issue, because there is the precedent of the African Union, where the chairman — who serves for one year — is the legal spokesman of the continent. He, however, noted that un- like the European Union, where the parliamentary system is given prominence with foreign ministers and specially elected MPs to the European parlia- ment, the EAC is experimenting with the presidential system. Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has long advocated the fast-tracking of the political federation, emphasising that the region should not only be an economic bloc, but also a political one. Strictly economic integration In his address last year as the chair of the EAC, President Museveni said that even if the economic integration were successful, there were certain issues that could not be addressed through economic integration alone. He said that it was not easy, for instance, to address the issue of common defence when you have different countries. The EAC presidents will de- cide on whether all the five member states will join the fed- How B≥itish p≥inting fi≥m b≥ibed Af≥ican By FRED OLUOCH Special Correspondent A CASE filed in the United Kingdom against a printing firm has exposed rings of corrupt public officials in Kenya, Ghana, Somaliland and Mauritania, who are reported to have received thousands of dollars in bribes to influence the award of tenders. The UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has put Smith and Ouzman on trial for dishing out $680,000 to officials in the four countries between 2008 and 2010 as inducements for the award of jobs to print ballot papers, voter identification cards, examination materials and plastic envelopes. “In each of these countries, direc- tors and senior employees of S&O, and agents employed by S&O in those countries, agreed to make corrupt payments to officials and employees How the money was shared out COUNTRY AGENCY TENDER IIEC Kenya Electoral Materials SUM BRIBE AGENT £1,377,257 £380,859 Trevy Oyombra RECIPIENT IIEC officials Issack Hassan James Oswago Davis Chirchir Kenneth Karani KNEC Kenya NEC Somaliland WAEC Ghana Ministry of Interior Mauritania Examination Certificates Electoral Materials Examination Materials Ballot Papers £282,339.00 £9,604 Trevy Oyombra Paul Wasanga Ephraim Wanderi £658,186 £22,590 Abdi Omar NEC officials £272,407 £24,549 Bill Amarteifio £12,366 Elliot Agyare, WAEC officials. £560,924 48,578.00 Direct Mohamed El Hadi Macina Source: Court documents WAEC officials.
Nov 17th 2014
Dec 1st 2014