capsule information pills geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>Uganda’s president Yoweri Museveni in particular – the longest serving of the five – has been accused of rushing the federation process because he wants to become the Community’s first president.
FDC’s spokesperson Wafula Oguttu said Monday that, while Tanzania is still calling for a slower integration pace to allow internalization and harmonization of socio-political and economic systems of the countries, “someone here is in a hurry. He wanted this integration to be up by this year.”
“The federation which started back in the days of Tanzania’s Mwalimu Julius Nyerere has seen many presidents come and go including Hassan Mwinyi, Moi, Mkapa, Kibaki, but ours here has remained the constant factor,” said Oguttu at the party’s weekly press briefing.
He noted that isolating Tanzania as a result of president Museveni’s egocentricity was much at the detriment of Ugandans and the entire East Africa.
“Tanzania has been helping us in our landlocked country and we all know that having an alternative route to the coast is equally imperative to us.”
Addressing press in Kigali last week, President Museveni said the infrastructural projects such as the railway line and oil pipeline linking Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and South Sudan were aimed at addressing infrastructural bottlenecks in the northern Corridor to boost regional trade and economic growth.
He denied reports that Tanzania was being excluded or isolated.
During the recent Tripartite Summit in Rwanda, Partner States agreed to eliminate the remaining Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) with immediate effect.
States would ensure that Transit cargo is equipped with an electronic system by January 2014 for ease of monitoring through the corridor and also comply with the instructions that transit cargo will be weighed once at the point of entry into each member state territory.
They also agreed to establish a legal committee from the three countries to analyse the joint implementation of Axle Load issues.
Tanzania, which seems determined not to buy into such ideas as free movement of all East Africans across the borders, has since sought alliance with Burundi, DRC and others from the southern hemisphere.
Lack of information
Besides, Ugandans themselves, Oguttu said, were not even aware of what the EAC was all about, let alone their country’s strategic interest in the integration.
Parliament and district leaders are all not visible in the processes, something that contradicts the initial essence of the federation being people-centered.
Oguttu further accused President Museveni of sidelining Tanzania because it opposed to his ‘scheme of dismembering the DRC to create a republic of Banyamuleng’ [through the M23 fighters]
He noted that Museveni and his Rwandan counterpart Paul Kagame were utterly not pleased when Tanzania led the way to send a brigade to the DRC to counter the M23 insurgency.
“Such a scheme of wanting one groups to dominate a region within an independent state is an evil scheme and we strongly condemn it,” he charged.