ARUSHA, TANZANIA- Claims of wanton expenditure of funds at the East African Community (EAC) and its institutions will be investigated for verification, the East African Legislative Assembly (Eala) was informed here on Wednesday.
Tanzania’s deputy minister for East African Cooperation, Dr Abdalla Sadaala Abdalla, told the regional Assembly that the report could not be debated in the just-ended session in Arusha but would be discussed during the next sitting in Bujumbura.
He explained that deferring the debate is aimed at allowing the EAC Council of Ministers which is the policy organ of the Community time to delve deeper into the report, undertake investigation and deep interrogation.
“The Council would like to take time to analyse and to verify some of the findings so as to give the Assembly more effective answers at its next sitting,” he added.
The probe follows the discovery of the alleged misuse of funds in the regional organization and its affiliates, among them poor accounting of imprests’ by the staff and procurement of air tickets worth $3.4 million during 2012/2013 financial year.
The audited accounts report reviewed the EAC financial statements for the year that ended on June 30, 2013 and was presented by the chairperson of the Accounts Committee, Mr Jeremie Ngendakumana.
The anomalies were also found in the construction works involving EAC with questionable descriptons on the Bill of Quantities.
The report also points out anomalies in the construction works and what it termed unwarranted huge expenditures for daily subsistence allowances (DSA) and funeral expenses with the East African Court of Justice (EACJ) and Eala respectively.
“The Committee’s findings pose serious and deep-rooted matters that necessitate serious consideration by the Council. Some of the findings go to the root of the state of affairs of the EAC as a cherished engine of integration,” Dr Sadaala explained.
The motion for adjournment of the debate is further pegged on the basis of Rule 31 (c) of the Rules of Procedure governing the Assembly which provides that a motion for adjournment may be moved without notice.
Hon Mike Sebalu challenged the Council of Ministers in future to engage much earlier and in time so that effective responses are given in time about the report.
Hon Abubakar Zein Abubakar told the Council to critically look into the matters contained in the report. “There should be a timeframe attached to Council’s request” he said. Hon Mumbi Ngaru Hon Kimbisa and Hon Dr Nderakindo Kessy urged the Council to speedily address the contents therein.