EAC PS: Process of transforming EAC into a political confederation underway

East African Community Affairs Principle Secretary Abdi Dubat during an interview on Spice FM. [Screen grab]

East African Community Affairs Principle Secretary Abdi Dubat has affirmed that the process of transforming EAC into a political confederation is currently in progress.

 Speaking during an interview on Spice FM, Dubat said the committee working on a constitution for confederation is going around its member states conducting stakeholder engagement before it drafts the constitution.

 Already, the committee led by former Uganda's Chief Justice Benjamin Odoki has been to three countries where they have engaged relevant stakeholders on what they would want to be upheld as the community transitions to a confederal.

 "We have a team of eminent persons led by the former Chief Justice of Uganda and Amos Wako who is the Vice Chair. They are co-working in a Constitution for the confederation," said Dubat.

 "They are doing stakeholder engagements and have so far done that in Burundi, Uganda and Kenya. They are going to do this with every partner state."

 According to Dubat, the transition is important as it will allow businesses and operations across the region to run smoothly, without delays.

 Further, trust will be built across the region, thus strengthening the community.

 Currently, the stakeholders' engagements aim at coming up with ways in which the Confederate will be funded, how it will look, its organs, and the systems that will be put in place.

 Last year, while addressing the press, EAC Secretary General Peter Mathuki said the move to adopt a political confederation is just a bridge to eventually transition to the EAC Political Federation.

 According to Dubat, the community cannot adopt federation without the confederation bridge as currently there is not enough trust in the Community for it to run as a country like the United States of America which has adopted federation.

 "We haven't reached that level of close trust that enables us to have one country with the central power in the federation. However, by adopting confederation, we will run as confederal states with our sovereignty and sit some members of our sovereignty to our confederate," said the PS.

 Some of the key proposals already made from the engagement include the elimination of borders to allow completely free movement, residency, and trade; and a common EAC identity document among others.