Since the establishment of the East African Community (EAC) on the 30th November 1999 there been a promise of more integration and “open” borders between the member states. However, there has by the time and the promise been hurdles. Seemingly with time the EAC Partner States or Member States should have resolved these, but there seems to significant changes with every twist and turn.
This involves Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. They are part of it and has their place. The EAC is working on a Customs Union, Common Market, Monetary Union and the Political Federation/Confederation.
The last piece has moved further as the EAC secretariat is having a 14 day consultations in Uganda and drafting a EAC Political Federation Constitution. That will be vastly different than the treaty, which established the EAC in November 1999. The EAC haven’t even been able to create the other features promised in the EAC. How will it be able to create a confederacy? When it cannot even ensure common market and a customs union over all these years?
Rwanda has distrust with Burundi. Burundi has distrust with Rwanda. Rwanda and Uganda are distrusting each other. Kenya and Tanzania are having squabbles. Even Kenyan and Uganda are having trade-wars too. All of this are supposed to be settled and be water under the bridge. All the people are supposed to be humble and let bygones be bygones. Just forgetting about the issues and the diplomatic impasses, which haven’t been settled and cleared.
Justice Benjamin Odoki can believe in the Confederacy and establishing a Confederation. However, there are two many chickens who isn’t allowed to pass border points. There are to much milk wasted and fighting over ownership over islands on Lake Victoria to suddenly kiss and make up. There are so many hurdles which needs a resolve before even starting writing a constitution for a huge project like this.
Burundi wouldn’t even participate or be part of EAC Heads of State with Rwanda as the Chairman of the EAC of late. There so many possible conflicts and landmines, which if one person dances on that field. It would blow up right in your face.
In 2021 the EAC Confederacy seems like a dream. A dream Yoweri Museveni has had for years. However, it is not sustainable or viable when you cannot even set the bar or the standards for trading chickens across the EAC. When you are not able to trade milk or maize. There are just to many issues with the small offerings, before you take the whole house.
The EAC will go from being a regional intergovernmental organisation to a League of Nation with a Union of Sovereign States united for one purpose. The EAC would become similar to the European Union in East Africa. The EALA and EAC Head of State Summits would have more power and a bigger mandate. They would regulate the trading agreements and joint movement rules between all the member states. That is furthering the powers of today’s secretariat in Arusha.
The EAC needs to fix the spoils and the neighbourly spats which are happening in East Africa. Before they are bounding itself a bigger adventure. When it hasn’t fixed and ensured more flexible trading between the nations. How can it suddenly become a EU of the East Africa?
I don’t see that happening. The EAC needs to gets the ducks in a row or be able to trade chickens before it makes the EALA into the next European Parliament and configures its own European Commission. As it already has its Heads of State Summits, which is more a photo-op these days. Than a place of unity and pledges of furthering the integration of the partner states.
That’s why the EAC needs to swallow some chickens and drink some chai tea before it continues this journey. Peace.
“I want to retire at my farm in Rwakitura but I want to leave when there is an East African government instead of these individual countries. You as NRM leaders should know that Africa will never succeed if we don’t have a large market brought about by integration” – Yoweri Kaguta Museveni on the 2nd December 2020 (Kenneth Kazibwe – ‘East African integration stopping me from retiring- says Museveni’ 03.12.2020, NilePost).
Man, there is always an excuse, a “reason” and a leaflet, which by default the President just got to stay in power. There is by some definition some unfinished business he got to attend too. If it is locally or regionally. He just can’t let go.
The man has been in office since the coup d’état in 1986. The man has never taken a break. The man has revised the Constitution twice to prolong his reign. The man has also suspended elections for a decade. So, this man is willing to do anything to stay in power. To think otherwise is naïve.
Instead of saying he needs to finish and be proud of his 10 Point Programme or Uganda National Development Plan I, II or now revised III. No, this man wants the EAC to become something more. As he knows that will not be happening anytime soon.
With his statement his initially stating that he wants Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and South Sudan cease from being nations and become one large entity. He wants to rule supreme there, as that is his God given rights. It is not enough that his running Uganda and been doing so since the mid-80s. No, he wants more and is jealous that he cannot gain more kickbacks from where his residing now.
He has come with this sort of thought before, but it is evident that he wants more. If he was satisfied. He would have stopped, but the pursuit is for selfish gains. Why else would he work for it now? When there is already bickering between the Republics and it’s not settling that quick.
This just an excuse, because this man needs a reason to stay in office. He has told several of times that he planned to retire. Not seeking another term… but when the time as right. The man went through the motions and fixed it in his favour.
Therefore, this is just a mockery. He is playing with his own and hoping he can hype an idea. To hijack the EAC as well. Because, this man is hungry for power and nothing else. If historians will write about this man. It will not be positive, but in a grim light. As he came with so much promise but squashed it all with an armed fist. Using all means and weaponry to get his way. Even starting wars to loot and enrich himself.
This man is only using the EAC as a useful excuse. He will not pursuit this, unless the EAC suddenly would crown him K-I-N-G. Peace.