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Regional experts draft confederation constitution

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MOSES HAVYARIMANA

By MOSES HAVYARIMANA
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At least two constitutional experts and a legislative draftsperson nominated by each of the East African Community member states were expected at the consultation meeting on drafting the EAC political confederation constitution that kicked off in Ngozi province in Burundi last week.

After the committee of experts drafts the regional constitution, a Bill will be submitted to the Heads of State Summit for approval.

According to the chairperson of the committee, Benjamin Odoki, a draft constitution is expected in two years, in time for the proposed implementation of the confederation model by 2023.

The Political Federation—the pinnacle of the EAC Regional Integration—is the fourth step after the Customs Union, Common Market and Monetary Union.

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If the constitution is adopted, partner states will begin ceding power to the confederation. Each partner state’s constitution will then be subordinate to the federation’s constitution

Even as Burundi is hosting the five-day meeting, its sour relations with Rwanda came to the fore as Kigali did not send a representative, prompting President Pierre Nkurunziza’s deputy spokesman Alain Diomede Nzeyimana to tweet “President Pierre Nkurunziza believes that the idea of a “Political Federation” will not be easy to realise given the absence of Rwanda in the consultations.”

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Commenting on Kigali’s absence, Rwanda’s EAC Minister Olivier Nduhungirehe said it would not hinder the process “since the absence of Burundi in EAC meeting hosted by Rwanda never impacted the EAC integration.”

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Kenya: MPs Drop Plans for Special Sitting Over Coronavirus Fears

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A special sitting of MPs was cancelled indefinitely due to fears of mass coronavirus infections among them and a warning from the Ministry of Health, the Nation has learnt.

Sources at Parliament Buildings told the Nation that the ministry warned that it would have been reckless for MPs to carry on with the sitting scheduled for Tuesday before release of the results of all the 50 members who were tested.

Tracking coronavirus

Unconfirmed information from multiple sources within Parliament indicated that at least 17 out of the 50 MPs tested so far are positive.

But the National Assembly’s leaders, including Speaker Justin Muturi, dismissed this report as fake news.

“It is not true,” Mr Muturi told the Nation. “Results are given to individual members.”

REACTIONS

Clerk Michael Sialai said he was “not aware” of the alleged 17 cases.

“No. I have no such report. Testing was voluntary and results were given to individual members,” he said.

Majority Leader Aden Duale also denied the report.

“I’m not aware. I think it’s a sensational story,” he said.

The alleged 17 cases were not captured in Tuesday’s briefing by Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe, who announced 14 new cases.

HEALTH REVIEW

A bulk SMS that the clerk sent on Monday said the sitting was cancelled due to a review of health and safety arrangements related to reassurance of the health of MPs and staff while within Parliament precincts.