By Taban Tom Henry
The Rt. Hon. Speaker of the National Parliament of the Republic of Kenya, Moses Wetangula has urged all the East African Community member states to waive visa fees in the region.
The Kenyan parliament speaker made the appeal yesterday in Juba during the inauguration of the 12th edition of the inter-parliamentary games hosted by the Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA) of South Sudan from 25th November to 2nd December 2022.
The tournament aims at bringing parliamentarians from all the EAC member states to interact among themselves, as lawmakers, government staff and citizens of East Africa to promote regional integration of the East African Community.
Addressing the pre-tournament conference organized by the Joint Planning Committee, Speaker Wetangula called on the national parliaments of EAC to have a dream of free movement of people, goods and services in the East African Region.
“I want to urge our honorable members of the National Parliament here present that the dream of free movement of people, goods and services in the East African region must be a dream that must be fulfilled in our life time,” he said.
“We in Kenya have said and have a policy to disaffect that any Africa leave alone East Africa there have Visa in Kenya on arrival. We want to encourage South Sudanese to feel as happy in Nairobi as they feel in Juba and Ugandan must feel as happy in Dar el Salaam as they feel in Kampala,” he lamented.
The Kenyan speaker of parliament said that an East African can be able to swim in the Indian Ocean Mombasa in the morning and in Atlantic Ocean Matadi in the evening.
He said they (EAC parliamentarians) are here (in Juba) to widen, deepen and tighten their relationship. He underlined that the unity of the East African People is the journey yet to be concluded.
“We come here today to reaffirm the commitment of South Sudan and the Region of East Africa and to bring to the fore the dreams of Muallimu Julius Nyerere, Muze Jomo Kenyatta and Apollo Milton Obote who sat and decided that our colonial boundaries will never hinder us from integrating,” he cited.
Speaker Wetangula stated that they should unite as one through sports adding that as they have the Bonanza in Qatar, they also have their East African Bonanza in Juba.