Kenya Aims to Secure Veto Powers in EAC Based on Contributions Sum
10:53 16.10.2023 (Updated: 11:35 16.10.2023)
The East African Community (EAC) was established in 1999 by the leaders of Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. In 2007, Burundi and Rwanda became members of the organization, followed by the inclusion of South Sudan in 2016. In 2022, the organization welcomed the Democratic Republic of Congo as its newest member.
According to local media reports, the Regional Integration Committee of Kenya has submitted a report to parliament suggesting a revision of the East African Community treaty. The proposed amendment aims to grant veto power to the partner states that make the greatest contributions to the treaty's implementation.
According to reports
, the committee has proposed that member states' contributions should be determined by their financial capability, granting veto power to the largest contributors. The panel also encouraged EAC members to explore the possibility of paying the dues due to South Sudan and Burundi.
"The founding partner states could also consider paying the contributions due for South Sudan and Burundi on a big brother basis and review the EAC Treaty to allow partner state contributions to be based on ability to pay and retention of veto power by the highest paying partner states," the committee reported.
The Committee concluded that the Community is currently experiencing a financial deficit due to delayed contributions from Partner States and reduced support from development partners. The performance of all EAC institutions is being negatively impacted by these factors, which in turn, hinder the successful implementation of crucial projects and programs that are intended to enhance the well-being of the people of East Africa, the body reasoned.
Local media reports indicate that in 2020, Burundi and South Sudan were at risk of being expelled from the EAC due to their failure to pay membership dues. The organization's assembly took a decisive vote to proceed with their expulsion.
However, a year later, Kennedy Mukulia Ayason, the chairperson of the Committee on Legal, Rules, and Privileges of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA), revealed that South Sudan has successfully transferred $5 million out of the $8 million annual payment owed to the community.
According to Kennedy Mukulia Ayason, the Chairman of the EALA House Committee on General Purposes, South Sudan, Burundi, and DR Congo
have failed to fulfill their financial obligations to fund the community as mandated, as of 2023.
According to the organization's charter, members have equal voting rights and make most decisions by consensus.
According to Article 146 of the EAC Treaty, it is clear that a member state may face suspension from taking part in the bloc's activities if it neglects its financial responsibilities for a period of 18 months or more.