The First Instance Division of the East African Court of Justice (EACJ), Thursday dismissed a case seeking to block the East African Community (EAC) Secretariat from carrying out activities geared towards the realisation of the East African Political Federation The Sunday Times has learnt.
Last week, EAC Secretary General Amb. Dr. Richard Sezibera, had requested EACJ to dismiss with costs an application seeking an interim order to restrain the EAC Secretariat from executing a directive by the Summit of Heads of State to recommend a roadmap for the attainment of the East African Political Federation.
The 13th Ordinary Summit of Heads of State held in Burundi last November issued the directives.
The court found that the application, though showing a prima facie case, does not show that the applicant would suffer irreparable injury if the injunction was not granted and that granting the injunction sought would inconvenience the Secretariat.
Kahoho’s assertion that if the injunction is not granted “it would enable a Head of State to dream up something one night and implement it the next day” was dismissed by the Court as hypothetical, unsupported by evidence and amounting to nothing but fear mongering.
Furthermore, the court held that stopping the process at this stage would cause more injury to the citizens of East Africa whom the applicant purports to be fighting for since substantial sums of taxpayers’ money have already been spent on the implementation of the directives and the applicant seems to be challenging the procedure, not the substance, of the same.
The application was dismissed with orders that the costs shall be decided once the outcome of the main case, which is still pending, has been determined. However, the judges requested the Registrar to fast track the hearing of the main reference so the applicant’s fears are examined expeditiously.
Kahoho had lodged an application challenging the Summit’s giving of directives to the Secretariat as a breach of the Treaty.
Among directives in question is one to propose an action plan on and a draft model of the structure of the East African Political Federation, one on the conclusion of the protocol on immunities and privileges for the East African Community, its Organs and Institutions, one on producing a roadmap for establishment and strengthening of institutions identified by a team of experts as critical for the functioning of the Customs Union, Common Market and Monetary Union and another on formulation of an action plan for the purpose of operationalising the other recommendations in the report of the same team of experts.
In Mr. Kahoho’s view, these directives were an infringement of Article 11 (5) of the EAC Treaty, which provides that while Summit may delegate the exercise of any of its functions to the Council of Ministers or to the Secretary General, there is no provision allowing it to give directives to the Secretariat.
Mr. Antony Kafumbe, counsel for the Respondent (EAC Secretary General) and Mr. Timothy Alvin Kahoho, the Applicant, in person, appeared before the Court.
Justices Johnston Busingye, Stella Arach-Amoko and Isaac Lenaola delivered the ruling.
By Eric Kabeera, The New Times