Judges positive that East African political confederation will strengthen the region

By Sania Babirye

Judges from the Constitutional and Supreme Court are holding a Consultations meeting on the drafting of the Constitution of the East African Political Confederation before an East African Federation/Nation is formed.

Speaking at the function held at the High Court Headquarters in Kampala, the Former Chief Justice Benjamin Odoki who is the Head of the East African Confederation of Constitutional Experts, said that the Political Confederation will iron out some of the challenges the East African community is facing.

He added that the steps institutions they are going to discuss will strengthen the current integration, promote more integration and stimulate it.

According to Justice Odoki, Political Confederation is the last pillar of integration where Uganda will just be a state in the East African Federation.

The former Chief Justice emphasized that with the Political Confederation, East African Countries will not have to give up their sovereignty, but will only give up part of their sovereignty to the center and that the Political Confederation will define the nature, purpose and objectives of the Center.

He added that the Political Confederation will give room to the judiciary to strengthen the Confederation especially when it comes to constitutionalism; including adoption of the Constitution on whether it should be by Parliament or by referendum, the institutions which should be strengthened in Arusha and what should be the center Authority for the sovereignty.

Other key institutions to discuss include; who should head the Confederation, a President or a commission at the center, what should be the responsibilities of the head, either to mediate, reconcile,give directions or take decisions.

These will also discuss on whether all partner states should contribute resources and funding equally to promote sovereign equality, the mode of reconciliation, on whether should be by consensus and if each country must put in place the agreed on principles if it is to be a member among other issues.

Speaking at the same Function, the Deputy Chief Justice Richard Buteera noted that some of the issues he is looking forward to changing include the extradition procedure to be made more flexible and free movement from one state to another as a process of living together.

The proposed Political Confederation will have three arms including; the Executive organ, which will comprise of the Heads of States, the Council of Ministers, coordination Committee and the Central Committee.

The other two arms include the Legislative Wing and the Judicial wing.

The members will study the workings of the East African Community, the views and interests of all the stakeholders and benchmark other Confederations around the world .

These will also consult on how the co federation may mature for the good of the East African people.