The shortage of professional staff facing the East African Community (EAC) and its organs will likely feature on the agenda of the upcoming summit in Kampala
“Shortage of staff is facing the entire spectrum of the EAC. It is among matters to be discussed at the summit,” the Registrar of the East African Court of Justice (EACJ), Yufnalis Okubo, said this week.
He was speaking to journalists in Arusha Monday, noting that the judicial organ of the regional bloc was one of key organs affected.
Mr Okubo said the Court currently has a skeleton staff of only 28 workers out of nearly 300 professionals, adding that it would need to hire support staff for the EAC organs’ services to be spread across the region.
“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”, he said.
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 had to work around the clock to clear them,” he pointed out.
The number of cases filed before the regional court have grown exponentially through the years to about 282.
Dr Ugirashebuja did not give details on the current number of staff at the key organ but said they would need at least ten immediately as they were overwhelmed by cases.
Additionally, there are no up-to-date statistics available on the number staff situation employed by the EAC and its organs which also include the Secretariat and the East African Legislative Assembly (Eala).
The EAC Summit, scheduled for the Ugandan capital later this month, is expected to dwell on the recommended reforms to run the regional organisation and its programmes more efficiently.
Two years ago saw the mandatory retirement of 50 professionals, though many of the positions were filled in 2017.
As at June 2014, the Secretariat, which is the executive arm of the EAC, had 231 employees of whom six were executive staff.
There were 69 professionals, 46 general service staff, 84 project staff and 16 temporary staff.
The Eala and EACJ had 34 and 24 staff members respectively. source Rwanda Podium
The Express News