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Members of East African Legislative Assembly suspend function amid budget concerns

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Members of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) have suspended all debate on the 2020/21 annual budget, demanding payment of their allowances in arrears since March, according to an official correspondence obtained Wednesday by APA in Kigali.The  East African Legislative Assembly (Assembly) is an organ of the East  African Community which is composed of lawmakers from  Burundi, Kenya,  Rwanda, South Sudan, Uganda and Tanzania.

Reports indicate that  the unpaid allowances have accumulated to $2.5 million, reflecting the  cash crunch facing the regional trade bloc.

In a letter dated  September 14 addressed to EALA Speaker Martin Ngoga, General Purpose  Committee chairperson Denis Namara issued a notice suspending its  meetings until the issues are addressed.

“At its meeting on  September 14, the Committee resolved to suspend the consideration of the  Budget estimates until payment of all arrears owed to the members and  staff for activities undertaken between the months of March-June 2020,”  reads the letter by Mr Namara.

The EALA MPs also want to be paid  for all the sittings they have undertaken after June, which marked the  beginning of the current financial year.

This includes a virtual  sitting held on September 2, that approved a Vote-on-Account of $19.6  million to support normal operations and cater to expenses of the EAC in  the first quarter of the Financial Year 2020/2021, it said.

Most  organs of the EAC are in paralysis with employees owed millions of  dollars in salary arrears, following a delay of the annual budget that  is supposed to have authorised withdrawal of funds.

Published on 28.04.2020

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