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EALA Plenary to be Held in Arusha This Week.

The East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) resumes business next week by holding its Plenary in Arusha, Tanzania. The Plenary which takes place from Today (Monday, January 19, 2015), to Friday, January 30, 2015 is the Fourth Meeting of the Third Session of the Third Assembly.The Assembly is to be presided over by the new Speaker, Rt. Hon Dan Kidega. The EAC Supplementary Budget for the Financial Year 2014/2015 is one of the key issues on top of the agenda during the two week plenary.  Another key Bill expected before the House is the EAC Co-operatives Societies Bill, 2013.The object of the EAC Co-operative Societies Bill, 2013 is to provide a legal framework for Co-operative Societies in line with Article 128 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the EAC strengthening the role of private sector as an effective force for developing economies.The Bill is divided into ten parts. Clause 3 of the Bill lays down objectives of Co-operative Societies which include: solving problems collectively, co-ordinating knowledge and skills and promoting self- reliance amongst Members.  The rest of the areas contained in the Bill deal with the formation, rights and duties of Members and Privileges. Other areas include the assets and liabilities, settlement of disputes and winding up/dissolution of Societies.  The Bill is at the stage of its second reading.The EALA shall also debate and adopt a number of Reports.The Report of the Committee on Regional Affairs and Conflict Resolution and the African Leadership Centre on the Conference on East African Societies and Regional Security and that of the Inter-Parliamentary Forum on Population, Health and Investment shall be debated.The Committee on Accounts is also expected to table its Report on the Audited Accounts for the Financial Year ending June 30th, 2013.The Report of the Committee on Legal Rules and Privileges on the EAC Rules of Procedure is also to be tabled.The Rules of Procedure were first adopted by the first Assembly on 28th November 2001. Thereafter, they were amended in the year 2008, mainly, to take care of expanded membership of the Assembly, following the admission of the Republics of Burundi and Rwanda.EALA Members are on record on several occasions to have expressed the need to amend certain provisions of the Rules either for purposes of providing clarity, consistency and/or practicability; or to take into consideration new developments over the years.Also on the cards at the forthcoming Sitting is the election of Committee Chairs and the EALA Commission which is the decision making body of the Assembly.  This follows the expiry of term of tenure last year.In his acceptance remarks recently, Rt. Hon Dan Kidega underscored the need to clear the pending bills and backlog of other legislative business.“My administration will move with haste to tackle the backlog and to introduce new business for the Assembly. The Council of Ministers have also assured me of their support and we expect a number of Council Bills to be brought forth for deliberation this year”, Rt. Hon Kidega said.

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