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Dar’s opposition won’t stop EAC integration

Discussion in 'Biashara, Uchumi na Ujasiriamali' started by BAK, Nov 24, 2008.

  1. BAK

    BAK JF-Expert Member

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    Dar's opposition won't stop EAC integration

    By FRANCIS AYIEKO
    THE EAST AFRICAN

    Posted Saturday, November 22 2008 at 09:30

    One of the main pillars of a Common Market is free movement of persons, yet there is still no agreement among the EAC partner states on the issue. Just what is the disagreement about?

    Tanzania is opposed to the use of national identification cards as instruments that facilitate free movement of East Africans across the region. They argue they don't have ID cards at the moment. They also argue that by international definition, ID cards are not travel documents and do not provide sufficient security details.

    These arguments go against the intention of establishing the Common Market, which is supposed to facilitate free movement of persons. It is basically supposed to create a borderless region.

    Well aware of the need to the facilitate free movement of East Africans across the region, the EAC Council of Ministers, in 2002, decided that there is need for Uganda and Tanzania need to urgently start issuing ID cards to their citizens.

    In 2007, the Council restated the need for Uganda and Tanzania to fast-track the issuance of ID cards. That decision was tied to free movement of persons.

    There was no agreement on this matter during the Zanzibar meeting, but the position of Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi is that EAC member states must comply with the Summit decision to create an EAC Common Market.

    The main bone of contention under the right of establishment and right of residence clause has been the issue of land. Why doesn't Tanzania agree with the other partner states on the matter?

    Tanzania argues that land is not a Common Market issue and there is no need to include it in the Common Market protocol. But the other four partners are clear that the objectives of the Common Market cannot be achieved without addressing land issues.

    How can partner states co-operate on matters of environment, for instance, without involving land issues?

    The other four partners maintain that land must be included in the Common Market Protocol because it is the common denominator of co-operation in the region.

    The four also want the protocol to include the acquisition, ownership and use of land. This item has been on the agenda since the beginning of the negotiations.

    In the spirit of co-operation, the other four partner states agreed to let go the issue of land acquisition and ownership. However, they argued that access to land should be included in the protocol.

    They also agreed to put in place mechanisms to ensure that Tanzania's concerns on land ownership are taken care of. Such mechanisms would include allowing people from other member states to access land in another partner state through the use of leases and other agreements that can be defined.

    The partners also argued that access to land should be governed by the laws of the specific country. This is very unusual because a regional protocol is supposed to be superior to national laws of individual member states. They did it only to accommodate the fears of Tanzania. But again Tanzania said no. They argued that they have investment legislation that govern access to land.

    Why is Tanzania opposed to the clause on permanent residence?

    Tanzania argues that some people from the other partner states had lived in the country for over 30 years and had even been given the opportunity to apply for permanent residence but they refused to do so. They argued that this clause would give such people permanent residence through the backdoor.

    Under international practice, when you have worked in a country for more than five years, you are allowed to apply for permanent residence. The country to which you are applying has a right to grant or refuse you a permanent residence permit.

    Is there any sign that Tanzania is committed to the EAC integration?

    One fundamental thing that came out consistently during the recent Zanzibar meeting was that Tanzania repeatedly said it is committed to the integration process and the Community, but it wants to go slow on the negotiations of the Common Market. That was telling in many ways.

    What action are the other partner states likely to take should Tanzania continue being recalcitrant?

    The Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community currently provides for consensus as the basis for decision-making. But with the challenges we are currently facing in terms of agreeing on various issues, the question that is being asked is if we want to continue with consensus as the basis for decision-making. Or do we want to amend the Treaty to provide for decision-making based on majority rule for those who are ready to move forward to proceed and those who are reluctant to join later?

    This is consistent with Article 7 of the Treaty, which says that if a country is not ready to move, it can take its time. This is understandable because there is the issue of unequal development, fear and culture.

    There is, therefore, a need to fast-track the amendment of the Treaty.

    No. The discussions have not stalled. The discussions have just allowed Tanzania to go and consult on those issues and come back to the Council.

    On the request of the High Level Task Force and the Secretariat, the conclusion of the negotiations on the protocol has been extended to April next year.

    In the meantime, the Task Force will be working on horizontal articles, which basically deal with policy issues and define details to be included in the annexes and schedules.

    Wouldn't the extension affect the operationalisation of the Common Market?

    No. The full implementation of the Customs Union is expected to end in 2010. So there is still time.

    If Tanzania is finally not convinced of the need to continue, the Treaty will be amended to allow for majority rule as the basis for decision-making. The other four partner states will then continue with the Common Market.

    If the protocol is concluded in April, there will be enough time to deal with its operationalisation in 2010.
     
  2. BAK

    BAK JF-Expert Member

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    Nov 24, 2008
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    Major split over free movement, right to residence and land

    By FRANCIS AYIEKO
    THE EAST AFRICAN

    Posted Saturday, November 22 2008 at 09:36

    A major split has emerged between Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi on one hand and Tanzania on the other, over key issues being negotiated under the Common Market.

    Four of the East African Community countries are now pushing for the fast-tracking of amendments to the Treaty that set up the EAC to allow for majority rule to be used in decision-making instead of consensus as currently provided for in the Treaty.

    The move was sparked by what is widely seen as Tanzania's double-speak on its commitment to the integration of the East African Community as well as the country's apparent refusal to agree with other member states on critical provisions of the draft Common Market Protocol such as free movement of persons, right of establishment and residence, and permanent residence.

    If the Treaty is amended to replace consensus with majority rule in decision-making, then Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi can move on with the integration process even when Tanzania disagrees with some decisions.

    Tanzania's reluctance over the integration process became apparent during the fifth round of negotiations on the EAC Common Market Protocol held in Zanzibar two weeks ago.

    During the negotiations, Tanzania consistently opposed proposals by the other four member states that East Africans be allowed to use their respective national identity cards as travel documents in the region.

    It also refused to accept the inclusion of a clause that would allow East African citizens to acquire, access and use land in any member state.

    It further differed with the other members on the permanent residence clause.

    According to Kenya's Permanent Secretary for East African Community Affairs David Nalo, Tanzania told the meeting in Zanzibar that it was committed to the integration process, but asked other partner states not to push the process "too fast."

    "Tanzanian representatives said they want to go slow on the EAC integration," he told The EastAfrican last week.

    The disagreements have forced the Council of Ministers to extend the deadline for the conclusion of the negotiations on the EAC Common Market protocol from December to April next year.

    Tanzania is expected to state its position on the bracketed issues by January next year.

    Article 7 of the Treaty says that if a country is not ready to continue with the integration process, it is allowed to pull out and rejoin the bloc later.

    At the Zanzibar meeting, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi proposed to retain Article 6 (5&6) of the Common Market Draft Protocol as the basis for allowing East African citizens to use their national identity cards for travel within the Community.

    The four countries argued that acquiring national passports is cumbersome and not easily accessible to the majority of the citizens.

    They also contended that since all partner states are obliged to issue national identity cards in line with the Council's decisions of September 13, 2002 and September 28, 2007, these will be available to all Community nationals and should be used to facilitate their free movement within the Common Market.

    They furthered argued that the cards will ease movement of people across borders previously used temporary movement permits are charged for each crossing, sometimes forcing people to engage in illegal crossings.

    However, the Council said that elevating national IDs to travel documents will not stop the use of national or East African passports.

    But Tanzania, on its part, opposed the proposal, saying IDs are not internationally recognised as standard travel documents.

    They also argued that the Treaty under Article 104 (3) (b) provides for partner states to maintain common standard travel documents.

    Tanzania further said there was no need to use IDs as travel documents as there is already in place an East African passport, which is accepted as a common standard travel document in East Africa.

    It is understood that Tanzania stressed that given the size of the country and its porous borders, it could not allow the use of identity cards as a travel document for public security.

    There was also a tug-of-war between the four partner states and Tanzania over the clause that allows East African citizens to acquire land and reside in any partner state.
     
  3. P

    PauliMasao JF-Expert Member

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    One of the main pillars of a Common Market is free movement of persons, yet there is still no agreement among the EAC partner states on the issue. Just what is the disagreement about?

    Tanzania is opposed to the use of national identification cards as instruments that facilitate free movement of East Africans across the region. They argue they don't have ID cards at the moment. They also argue that by international definition, ID cards are not travel documents and do not provide sufficient security details.

    These arguments go against the intention of establishing the Common Market, which is supposed to facilitate free movement of persons. It is basically supposed to create a borderless region.

    Well aware of the need to the facilitate free movement of East Africans across the region, the EAC Council of Ministers, in 2002, decided that there is need for Uganda and Tanzania need to urgently start issuing ID cards to their citizens.


    Indeed, ID cards are not travel documents. During the real EAC good old days of the '70s we used passports and temporary permits to travel through East Africa. What are the ID cards for, free movement of people? What are the East African passports then?
     
  4. Bongolander

    Bongolander JF-Expert Member

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    Huu ni usanii tu, ID cards zinaweza kutumika kama travel ID, kuna sehemu nyigi tu duniani zinatumika, hicho sio kigezo cha kuzuia integration. Kuna ukweli kuwa ID cards zikitumika kutakuwa na matata sana kwa Tanzania "kiusalama". Lakini ukweli ni kuwa jamaa wakianza kuingia hapa Bongo watanzania tutakuwa tumeumia sana, Kazi nyingi zitachukuliwa na wageni kwa sababu wengi wetu ni wavivu na elimu yetu ni ya kufaulu mitihani, wenzetu wa Kenya wana-advantage kubwa over us when it comes to jobs.
    Lakini issue nzima ya EAC naona ni kutuingiza mkenge, hatuko tayari kuwa kwenye hiyo EAC at that level. Ukitaka kuangalia movement ya bidhaa kati ya Kny na Tanzania utaona Kny inaleta karibu kila kitu kwenye soko letu na sisi hatupeleki kitu Kenya...ikiingia kwenye job market itakuwa same story. Huu ni mkenge kwetu.
     
  5. Ben Saanane

    Ben Saanane Verified User

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    Nov 24, 2008
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    Lakini mimi naunga mkono uamuzi wa Tanzania kutokubaliana na hoja za hao wanachama wanne.Imefikia walkati tuangalie maslahi ya taifa kwa mapana zaidi.Hizo nchi zoote hapo zina uhaba mkubwa wa ardhi,hatutaki kuja kuona mzawa akiteseka huku tukifungulia wageni kilicho haki yetu.

    Pili ningependekeza pia sheria ya ardhi iimarishwe,hakuna raia asiye mtanzania kumiliki ardhi kwa mkataba wa kudumu
     
  6. Yunic

    Yunic Senior Member

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    Nov 24, 2008
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    Huu muungano kwa kweli utuumiza watanzania. Hebu angalia nchi tunazoungana nazo...zote zina matatizo ya uhamiaji, ardhi, na kazi, sasa tukipitisha hili swala I am 100% sure kwamba in 6 months only kutajaa watu wa ajabu Tanzania.

    Hebu fikiria ardhi tuliyonayo TZ, si wakenya na warundi wataenda vijijini huko kujikusanyia ardhi na kuzishikilia? Hawa watu ni loosers, they have nothing...while we have everything. They have a lot to gain, while we, Tanzanians will only be loosing. Hebu tuangalie scenario moja tu...Ni watanzania wangapi ambao wataenda Kenya kuishi kama wahamiaji? kuna ardhi gani Kenya? Kazi je? Nothing! Nada!

    Haya, Rwanda na Burundi ndio hivyo tena...we all know the story. I repeat...these people have NOTHING and they are going to rob us of everything!

    For once, viongozi wetu tunaomba wakatae huu ushirikiano na nchi ambazo ni loosers!
     
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