One Kenya Alliance principals Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka and Ford Kenya supremo Moses Wetangula have challenged the East Africa Community (EAC) Leadership to depoliticize the integration of the community in an effort to speed up its actualization.
The two, both former foreign Ministers and worked in the process of reviving the community, said it has taken longer than expected and anticipated by the founding fathers of the community for the actualization of the treaty.
Kalonzo who served as the first Chair of the inter-ministerial tripartite commission tasked to revive the East African Community, further argued that there are some thorny political issues in the region and urged the East African nations to iron issues.
“Fellow East Africans, let’s get rid of any suspicions in our midst, as one of you, I do know there are thorny issues in the region, I want to urge that we iron out any political differences in our midst and be able to build a community that will be the pride of Africa,” said Kalonzo.
Speaking during a dinner hosted by East Africa Business Council in honour of the new East Africa Community Secretary-General Dr. Peter Mathuki in Arusha, the Wiper boss said EAC must get rid of any political suspicions and build one formidable community.
Dr Mathuki, a long-term Executive Director of the East African Business Council, emerged the top candidate after corporate bodies proposed his name to President Uhuru Kenyatta as someone capable of converging different views from member States.
Dr Mathuki replaced Burundi’s Liberat Mfumukeko, whose five-year term ended.
He comes on as the region implements the Africa Continental Free Trade Area agreement, where he has been involved in the creation of the nascent African Business Council.
Kalonzo further challenged the East Africa Legislative Assembly (EALA) to prioritize the legislation on matters free movement of goods and services and the right to establishment that would enable business to operate freely in the East African Community member states.
“As a lawyer, I want to come and establish my practice here in Arusha, that I believe is the way to go,” said Kalonzo.
On his part, Wetangula challenged the community to think of more integration within the member states through members of the assembly being elected directly by the people.
Wetangula said that this model will help in informing member state citizens what East Africa Community is, what East Africa Parliament is and the benefits of integration.
The Kenyan Government was represented by EAC Cabinet Secretary Aden Mohamed, Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka, Transport Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Wavinya Ndeti and Kenya’s envoy in Uganda Kiema Kilonzo.
Kajiado Governor Joseph Ole Lenku, Nairobi acting Governor Ann Kananu, 11 MPs and eight County Assembly Members were also in attendance.
Mathuki holds an MBA and PhD in Strategic Management & Regional Integration from the University of Nairobi, Kenya.
He has served in several regional and International organizations.
Dr Mathuki previously served as a Member of Parliament of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA), where he chaired the Committee responsible for Legal affairs & good governance and served in the Committees of Accounts, Trade and Investment.
Prior to this, he also served as a Director in charge of International Labour Standards (ILO) at the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU-Africa) which later became (ITUC-Africa).
He also worked for European Union (EU) programs on institutional strengthening for Africa based in several African countries.