The East African Community Council of Ministers has been put on the spot for failing to table election observers reports whenever a member country conducts general elections.
This, East African Legislative Assembly members said, has made it impossible to debate electoral processes in the region.
The EAC Secretariat has been deploying election observer missions to all partner states to promote good governance, and the reports are expected to recommend how a partner state should improve its electoral processes and strengthen good governance.
The Committee on General Purpose urged the EAC Council of Ministers to present all annual reports of the bloc timely as stipulated in the Treaty.
Article 49 (2) (c) of the Treaty says the Assembly shall consider annual reports on activities of the Community and annual audit reports, among others. In addition, Article 59 (3) (a) requires the Council of Ministers to publish annually and present to the Assembly a general report on activities of the Community.
The Committee also poked holes in the EAC Annual Report for 2016/17, tabled on March 2019, noting that presentation timelines was not adhered to.
The annual report lacked signature, leading to question on its authenticity.
The Committee report is being discussed after the Community’s recent deployed an 89-member mission led by former Burundian president Silvestre Ntibantunganya to observe the Tanzanian general election in October.
The EAC observers report certified the election as having been credible, peaceful, free and fair election.
President John Magufuli garnered 84 per cent of the vote, winning a second five-year term.
The National Electoral Commission’s official tally shows opposition candidate Tundu Lissu garnered 13 per cent of the vote. Mr Lissu has refused to acknowledge the results calling it an “electoral fraud of a magnitude that is unprecedented in the history of our country.” He has since left the country after he complained the regime was after his life and other opposition politicians.
Other foreign observers concurred with him saying there had been “credible allegations of significant election-related fraud and intimidation.”