EAC Urged to Implement Full Intergration to Spur Growth

Presidential candidate John Patrick Amama Mbabazi has strongly dismissed talk that his candidacy was planned many years ago, cialis 40mg noting that he could have become President about a decade ago if he was by then an opponent of President Museveni and the NRM regime that he is today.

Mbabazi stated at a media briefing in Gulu town on Wednesday morning that contrary to media assertions that his revolt against the regime he served for 30 years was carefully planned for a long period of time, web he only decided to take a different path recently.

If he harbored presidential ambitions, buy Mbabazi noted, he would have been the first person to oppose striking down presidential term limits in 2005 and by now he would be serving his second and last term as president.

“People are saying that all along I have been harboring ambitions of being president, and that I had systematically worked to build myself to stage a challenge. This is not true,” he said.

“You come to think of it; if I had had those ambitions, why would I have led an onslaught against term limits in the constitution? You remember that I was the leading proponent of removing term limits. I gave my reasons then.”

“And this obviously meant that if we removed term limits, President Museveni would stay around. If my ambition was being president I would have worked for retention of term limits and Museveni would have been gone 10 years ago. I would have been president for two terms and I would be retiring in 2016.”

Mbabazi who announced his presidential bid on June 15 this year, having been dropped as Prime Minister and Secretary General for the ruling party told press today that through his life he committed to serving the people and fighting injustice, a fight he started when he was a primary school boy.

“I parted ways with the regime on that account, because they have deviated from our original objectives, principles and core values that we fought for all this time,” he added.

“I have been thrown onto this road because of the conditions in the country. My job now is to restore term limits and help bring about a peaceful transition from one generation to the next.”

My Benz was never armored

In the Acholi sub region where he unexpectedly got a massive welcome at Kaunda grounds on Tuesday, observers has anticipated strong rejection, owing to the accusations that Mbabazi oversaw embezzlement of billions of shillings for the PRDP program that was meant for reconstruction of the war torn region.

A much smaller section of majorly NRM youths yesterday staged a non-violent demonstration in the town against the former Premier.

However, in his today’s address, Mbabazi dismissed claims that he had a hand in the widely publicized corruption scandal.

Mbabazi also sternly attacked Aruu county Member of Parliament Hon Odonga Otto for championing ‘false media reports’ that he diverted more than Shs 600million to purchase an armored Mercedes Benz that he used during his tenure as Prime Minister.

Mbabazi revealed today that this Benz was not armored and didn't cost Shs 600 million

Mbabazi revealed today that this Benz was not armored and didn’t cost Shs 600 million

“First of all, I never bought any vehicle, armored or unarmored; because it was not my responsibility to buy vehicles. That Benz they are talking about is not armored and it didn’t cost Shs 600 million. I didn’t know about its acquisition,” he said.

Mbabazi further explained that his predecessor Hon Apollo Nsibambi during his retirement, required a vehicle to which he was legally entitled, yet the funds were not available.

“When Nsibambi retired, the (Ministry of) Public Service requested me [because I would have taken all his vehicles] that I let him remain with one vehicle while they looked for money to buy his retirement one.

“For one year I was using one vehicle, a Benz that was 10 years old. On one occasion it collapsed in the middle of the road. So, that Benz was bought to replace old Benz, in the ordinary way that purchases are made in government. This fact came in the PAC hearing.”
Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame has called on the region to concert its  full integration efforts, approved and to address challenging issues notably insecurity, bad governance and corruption as it garners to realize the regional economic bloc’s Vision 2050.

The President’s remarks were delivered by the President of the Senate, Rt. Hon. Bernard Makuza, at the commencement of the 3rd Meeting of the 4th Session of the 3rd Assembly at the Parliament of Rwanda, Kigali, Rwanda, on Tuesday.

He reiterated that all East Africans must eradicate the “business as usual” mindset and strive towards progress of strengthening integration.

“As legislators, we must ask questions and keep searching for solutions for and on behalf of our people. We must identify and address whatever may divert the progress of the Community, and ensure that there are no obstacles to our co-operation for integration. And to start with, procedures and processes governing Organs of the Community should not be themselves an obstacle to the growth of the Community,” Rt. Hon. Makuza said.

Hon. Makuza tasked the EAC to involve all the people in the integration process for the tangible benefits to be realized.

“It is indeed common sense that our people must be consulted and involved in each step of integration programs as much as possible. The fact of the matter is that, the cost of failing to involve people widely enough, ultimately is much higher than what is required to invest, for people’s participation in the decision-making processes,” Rt. Hon. Makuza told the House.

He called on the EAC Partner States to speedily implement the Common Market Protocol saying the delay had caused citizens a number of opportunities.

Rt. Hon. Makuza further hailed EALA for the attention it is paying to issues of natural resources, environment management, food security and rural development.

He said that Rwanda had after the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi, learnt vital lessons that essentially enabled the country to transform itself.

The country, Rt. Hon. Makuza, added, understood that unity, security and good governance were key for survival and sustainability as a nation and that Rwanda had remained committed to the EAC.

He said Parliament of Rwanda had listened carefully to the will of the people regarding the country’s Constitutional Amendment.

The President of the Rwanda Senate further urged the Assembly to articulate the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the UN in September this year, while placing people and the environment at the centre of the priorities.

In his remarks, the Speaker of the EALA, Rt. Hon. Daniel F. Kidega noted that East Africans were interested in seeing more tangible benefits of integration through the various integration pillars.

“With regards to the Customs Union, we are glad the Summit is pushing for the operationalization of the Single Customs Territory to streamline and enhance clearance of goods. The improvement at the Dar es Salaam and Mombasa ports will make both the Central and Northern Corridors attractive in terms of facilitation of trade,” Rt. Hon. Kidega said.

The Speaker further rooted for sustained funding for the Community saying it was time for the EAC Partner States to seek alternative mechanisms for funding.


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