A sub- committee of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) is satisfied with Rwanda’s performance in terms of implementing provisions of the EAC treaty on good governance democracy and rule of law.
These are some of the provisions entailed in the treaty establishing the five-nation bloc and the clean bill was given by the legal rules and privileges sub-committee of the regional assembly.
The three member sub-committee announced this yesterday after completing their one-week oversight mission in Kigali where they visited various institutions that are mandated with good governance principles predetermined in the treaty.
“The committee is fully satisfied with Rwanda’s performance in matters of good governance and hope that recommendations to the assembly will help other EAC partner states comply with the Treaty provisions for their own good and for the good of the community,” Peter Mutuku Mathuki, the chairman of the committee, said in an interview with The New Times.
Article 7 on the operational principles of the community compels partner states to observe the principles of good governance, including adherence to the principles of democracy, rule of law, social justice and the maintenance of universally accepted standards of human rights.
The issue of good governance is seriously considered in the community, as it is one of the main criteria considered when a country seeks to join the bloc.
Mathuki however complained of other regional member states that have failed to implement the Customs Union and Common Market Protocols , which he said, was derailing the regional goals of integration.
“What Rwanda needs to do now is sustaining the achievements, and it must be done by all citizens. This is the challenge, that everybody should be involved.
Hon Abdul Karim Harelimana, who is a member of the committee, said they would continue advocating for the implementation of the protocols for the benefit of the community.
“We don’t have the enforcing mechanism and there is no need of forcing someone to implement. It’s like a marriage; if one has a weakness, you just have to wait for him to change,” said Harelimana, a Rwandan delegate to the assembly.
Other members of the same committees are in other four member states on a similar mission and they intend to come up with a joint report indicating performance of those states.
Some of the findings on the Rwandan tour is that the constitution is clear and allows the judiciary to make decisions in accordance with the law.
Other areas that impressed the team was the declaration of wealth by government officials, fighting corruption, the monthly community work (Umuganda), Gacaca courts and others.
The sub-committee further commended the country for establishing Rwanda Governance Board, an independent body that assesses governance in all institutions of government. It’s the only member country with such a body.
The creation of the Forum of Political Parties that emphasizes power sharing and practices that separates powers; where a minister cannot serve as a member of parliament was also a good indicator of good governance.
Some of the institutions visited include the Ministry of Justice, the Supreme Court, Law Reform Commission and the Human Rights Commission.
By Eric Kabeera, The New Times