East African Legislative Assembly, Bujumbura, Burundi: December1st 2018: The EAC Inter-Parliamentary Games has kicked off in Bujumbura, Burundi. The highlight of the day was a friendly match pitting an EAC Select Side featuring legislators from the EAC Partner States and Hallelujah FC in a thrilling encounter at the Prince Louis Rwagasore. Hallelujah FC associated with H.E Pierre Nkurunziza, President of the Republic of Burundi, walloped the EAC makeshift side 4-1 with goals from Nsengiyumva Paul (3rd Minute), Saleh Ali Yamutu (12th minute), Nsabimana Jamal (12th Minute) and Muyenga Alex (through a penalty in the 28th Minute). The EAC’s consolation goal was scored by Hon Dennis Karera (from the Burundi National Assembly).
Earlier on, the Speaker of the Burundi National Assembly, Rt Hon Nyabenda Pascal, officiated at the Pre-Tournament Conference called to nurture networking and bonding among the legislators.
In his remarks, Rt Hon Nyabenda underscored the need for ensuring peace continues to prevail in Burundi and the EAC region. He said sport was a uniting factor and key in sensitizing members, staff and citizens from all the Partner States on the integration process and progress realised thereof. He further remarked the Inter-Parliamentary Games had continued to play a key role in uniting East Africans.
“To achieve this goal, such games have to be politically neutral in order to break down barriers and hostilities amongst East Africans, whose dream and destiny are to live together in a Community which has no pseudo borders”, Rt Hon Nyabenda said. The Speaker informed the delegations that the EAC was also expected to help the country (Republic of Burundi) organise peaceful, credible and fair elections in two years’ time.
“Moreover, as you certainly are aware, His Excellency Pierre NKURUNZIZA, President of the Republic of Burundi, will not run as a candidate for the 2020 presidential election. Now, what Burundians are expecting from East Africans is to help them organise peaceful, fair, transparent and inclusive elections in 2020”, Rt Hon Nyabenda said.
Hon Susan Nakawuki, Chair of the EALA Joint Planning Committee of the Games reiterated the importance of nurturing sports for integration.
At the same time, such games enhance interaction with the citizenry of the Partner States, promote cohesiveness and enhance our pride as East Africans”, Hon Nakawuki said. She called for utmost discipline during the 10-day extravaganza.
“I am particularly keen on the issue of discipline and etiquette. It would be of paramount importance that the participating teams, players and officials maintain total discipline and that infringement of any of these agreed regulations are effectively handled by the Disciplinary Committee”, Hon Nakawuki said.
EALA Member, Hon Gideon Gatpan presented a paper on the milestones of the EAC realised to date. The IPG which was mooted 9 years ago has over the years realized several successes. Fundamentally,Parliamentary games are a key aspect of building relations between the EALA and the National Legislatures in the EAC region. The games play a fundamental part in enabling EALA’s interaction with Members of the National Legislatures in the Partner States as envisaged in Article 49 (2a) of the Treaty for the Establishment of EAC.
The tournament disciplines include football, walk-race, netball, golf, athletics, tug-of-war and volleyball. Athletics which takes place at the Stade Olympique (in Nyabugete) will feature races in 100 meters, 200 meters, 400 metres, 800 and 1500 metres respectively for men and women. The 4x 400m relay and the 4x 100m races are also on the cards.
The Games themed: “Accelerating a people-centered EAC by connecting Parliamentarians and citizens through Sports” brings together EALA and the National Legislatures.
On Sunday (December 2),in football, Parliament of Uganda plays Parliament of Tanzania while Parliament of Burundi locks horns with Parliament of Kenya in the next game. In volleyball, Parliament of Uganda will play Parliament of Tanzania before Parliament of Kenya faces Parliament of Burundi. In Women’s volleyball, Parliament of Burundi will play defending champions, Parliament of Kenya in the first match as Parliament of Uganda and Parliament of Tanzania later face-off in the second match of the day.
- ENDS -
For more information, please contact:
Senior Public Relations Officer
East African Legislative Assembly
Cell: +255-787-870945, +254-733-718036
Email: BOdiko [at] eachq.org
About the East African Legislative Assembly:
The East African Legislative Assembly is the Legislative Organ of the East African Community. Its Membership consists of a total of 62, of whom 54 are elected Members (9 from each Partner State) and eight ex-officio members (the Ministers responsible for EAC Affairs from the Partner States, the Secretary General of the Community and the Counsel to the Community).The East African Legislative Assembly has legislative functions as well as oversight of all East African Community matters. The enactment of legislation of the Community is put in effect by means of Bills passed by the Assembly and assented to by the Heads of State, and every Bill that has been duly passed and assented to become an Act of the Community and takes precedent over similar legislations in the Partner States. EALA has to date passed 79 pieces of legislation.