EAC organs grapple with acute shortage of skilled staff

Wednesday February 07 2018
By The EastAfrican

A shortage of professional staff at the East African Community (EAC) Secretariat and its organs will likely feature on the agenda of the upcoming summit in Kampala.

The registrar of the East African Court of Justice (EACJ) said this week that the EAC's judicial arm is one of the key organs affected.

"The entire spectrum of the EAC is facing a shortage of staff. It is among the matters to be discussed at the summit," said Yufnalis Okubo, the EACJ registrar.

Mr Okubo said Monday that the Arusha-based court has a skeleton staff of only 28 out of nearly 300 professionals needed.

The president of the EACJ, Dr Emmanuel Ugirashebuja, noted that the shortage of personnel had affected dispensation of justice.

"Shortage of staff is a big challenge. We have so many cases. The few people we have have to work around the clock to clear them," he pointed out.


The number of cases filed before the regional court have grown from just one to 282 in four years, Dr Ugirashebuja said.

He said that the court would need to hire at least ten workers immediately as it is were overwhelmed.

Funding constraints resulting from failure of some EAC members states to meet their annual obligations has derailed activities of the Secretariat including hiring of staff.

The EAC Summit, scheduled for the Ugandan capital later this month, is expected to discuss institutional reforms aimed at improving efficiency.

"It is the whole of EAC which is affected. The Council of Ministers and the Summit will discuss this under the institutional review of the Community," Mr Okubo said.

Reporting by Zephania Ubwani.