East African Court of Justice, Arusha, Tanzania, 24th May 2024: Senators Hon. Njiji Desire and Hon. Ndayisavye Ferdinand, from the Republic of Burundi, paid a courtesy call on Justice Nestor Kayobera, the Judge President of the East African Court of Justice (EACJ).

The meeting primarily focused on the significance of capacity building and sensitization programs aimed at Government Officials, Members of Parliaments, and the entire population of the East African Community. The discussion centered on enhancing understanding of EAC laws and the pivotal role of the regional Court in advancing the integration agenda. The need to enlighten various stakeholders across all Partner States about the benefits of integration was emphasized as crucial.

Justice Kayobera underscored the responsibility of Government Officials, as contributors to national lawmaking processes, to ensure alignment with the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community. He cited several cases where the Court had intervened to challenge national laws contravening the EAC Customs Union, Common Market Protocols, and the Treaty. Notably, Partner States had demonstrated compliance by amending these laws in accordance with the Court’s decisions.

Highlighting three significant challenges faced by the Court—financial constraints, lack of financial autonomy, and a deficit in public understanding—Justice Kayobera noted that delayed disbursements of Partner States’ contributions had led to the cancellation of Court sessions. He expressed the Court’s unwavering commitment to its mandate despite these obstacles, stressing the need for continued support from Partner States.

His Lordship commended the Senators and the Government of Burundi for their recognition of the Court’s role and appealed to all Partner States for sustained assistance in fulfilling its mandate under the Treaty.

Senator Njiji Desire reiterated the importance of capacity building and public awareness initiatives to disseminate knowledge about the Court, especially among Members of Parliament and Ministers, to prevent breaches of EAC Laws. He urged the EACJ to prioritize the development of capacity-building and outreach programs, particularly targeting newly elected Members of Parliament as several Partner States prepare for elections.

Ambassador Mbakenga Leonidas, Burundi’s Liaison Officer in Arusha, highlighted the consistent deduction of the budget for capacity-building programs from EAC Senior Official meetings, emphasizing the need to explore alternative mechanisms to enable East Africans to benefit from the EACJ and the wider integration agenda.

The Senators were accompanied by Mr. Ndayisenga Dieudonne, the Director of Finance and Administration.

About the EACJ 

The East African Court of Justice (EACJ or ‘the Court’), is one of the Organs of the East African Community established under Article 9 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community. The Court was established in November 2001, its key mandate is to ensure the adherence to law in the interpretation and application of and compliance with the EAC Treaty.  Arusha is the temporary seat of the Court until the Summit determines its permanent seat. The Court’s sub-registries are located in the capitals of the following Partner States: Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and United Republic of Tanzania. 

For more information please contact: 

Christine Mutimura 

Deputy Registrar, 

East African Court of Justice. 

Arusha, Tanzania 

Tel: 255-27-2162149 

Email: cmwekesa@eachq.org