Posted by: africanpressorganization | 7 March 2012

EAC Secretary General meets East African local government authorities / Urges leaders to stop arbitrary levying of local taxes on goods, business people, transporters along the transport corridors and transits highways


 

 

EAC Secretary General meets East African local government authorities / Urges leaders to stop arbitrary levying of local taxes on goods, business people, transporters along the transport corridors and transits highways

 

ARUSHA, Tanzania, March 7, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Secretary General of the East African Community Amb. Dr. Richard Sezibera has urged local government authorities to stop arbitrary levying of local taxes on goods, business people and transporters along transport corridors and transit highways within the Community.

Amb. Sezibera, who was today meeting officials from the East African Local Governments Association (EALGA) who had paid a courtesy call on him in Arusha, Tanzania, said by imposing these taxes, local authorities were undermining international treaties as well as the EAC Customs Union and Common Market protocols.

“You can’t tax a truck transiting through your localities; it is against international law and you could be taken to court,” asserted the EAC Secretary General, adding: “These impromptu road blocks, fees and other NTBs do not serve us well and instead impact on businesses [and] investments”

Amb. Sezibera noted that it was imperative for the EAC Secretariat to work closely with the local governments as their roles were critical in information dissemination, mobilization and rallying support of the ordinary citizens on the EAC integration and development process.

He also urged the Ministries of EAC in the Partner States to always involve local governments and establish focal points in the Ministries, noting that the local governments could effectively be involved in the affairs of the Community as they were closer to local communities.

The Chair of the EALGA who is also the chairman of the Association of Local Government Authorities of Kenya (ALGAK) and President of the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa, Councillor Taraiya Kores noted that the relationship between EAC and EALGA started in February 2007 and since then EALGA has enjoyed the warmth and support of the EAC included providing it with office space for three years.

 

He informed the Secretary General that the meeting of East African Local Government Ministers and Local Government Associations in May last year in Kigali, Rwanda proposed an establishment of East African Local Government Forum (EALGF) that would work closely with the EAC.

 

The EAC and EALGA agreed to hold the first forum in August 2012 in Arusha, Tanzania. EAC and EALGA also agreed to partner with the Secretariat in carrying out sensitization activities on the EAC integration at the grassroots’ levels.

The East African Local Government Association was established on 10th May 2005 in Kampala, Uganda by the Governing Council to promote and facilitate the mandates of national local government associations in East Africa. These mandates include the promotion of good governance and local democracy, provision of services at the local levels and decentralization by devolution.

The Secretary General was accompanied by the Acting Director for Social Sectors, Mr. Aloysius Chebet and the Head of Corporate Communication and Public Affairs, Mr. Owora Richard Othieno.

 

The EALGA chair, Councillor Taraiya Kores was accompanied by Mr. Simon Lazaro Bendera, the Acting Secretary General of EALGA; Hamisi Omari Mboga, ALGAK Secretary General; Theogene Karake, Secretary General from Rwandese Association of Local Governments (RALGA); Mr. Celestine Kimaro from Association of Local Authorities of Tanzania (ALAT); Philotheusy J. Mbogoro, National Coordinator of the Tanzania Cities Network; Jerome Byukusenge, Senior Technical Officer and Baraka Damas, the EALGA Junior Technical Officer.

 

SOURCE 

East African Community (EAC)


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