East African Community

East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, Tanzania, 11th March, 2024: Our attention has been drawn to an article in the 9th – 15th March, 2024 edition of The East African newspaper headlined ‘Why Mathuki has to go.”
First and foremost, we wish to state categorically that the allegations that were carried in the article are baseless, malicious, unfounded and an attempt on assassinating the character of the Secretary General of the East African Community. We are equally perturbed that The East African never sought the Secretary General’s side of the story on the allegations before the article was published as the rules of natural justice dictate.
The rules of objective journalism demand that there are two sides in a story where it involves two parties. And that both parties must be given a fair hearing. The Secretary General was not given the right of reply before the story was published. We were only shocked to see some text messages from some East African journalists seeking our comment after the article had been published. This is by no means unfair. However, we wish to state as follows:
The EAC operates in a structured manner where there are proper checks and balances on all its operations. Each member state has appointed a Cabinet Minister responsible for coordinating EAC Affairs at the national level. The Cabinet Ministers form the EAC Council of Ministers which is the policy organ of the Community. The Council of Ministers supervise the EAC secretariat. At no point in time has there been any queries raised by the Council of Ministers as to the allegations on lack of appropriation of funds by the Secretariat as the Council always gives prior approval on expenditure of funds of the Community as stipulated in EAC’s Financial Rules and Regulations including what is published in the article.
Secondly, there is an Audit Commission which prepares a report on all activities of the Community conducted by all Partner States, in line with International Audit Standards. Since the Secretary General assumed office three years ago, there has never been any adverse audit reports on his part or the Secretariat and these audit reports remain available at the offices of the Community.
The operations and activities of the Community are continually audited to ensure compliance with the laid down standards and procedures. It is therefore misleading for The East African to publish information that is unsubstantiated and to say the least, malicious and misleading, and particularly without checking the second side of the story.
The huge milestones achieved by the Community in the last three (3) years cannot be gainsaid and is open for scrutiny by the public. This includes the expansion of the Community to eight (8) Partner States and increased Intra-EAC trade to over 25%.
Arising from the above, we wish to state that EAC is operating well and is on course to achieve what it was established to do by the founding fathers and the Summit of the EAC Heads of State who are the leaders of the Community.
The purported allegations and accusations are therefore false and the EAC remains a focused and formidable Regional Economic Bloc. We would like East Africans and all our stakeholders to remain confident about the status of the Community.
For more information please contact:
Simon Peter Owaka,
Senior Public Relations Officer,
Corporate Communications and Public Affairs;
Tel: +255 768 552087
Email: sowaka[at]eachq.org

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