Rwanda President Slams EAC Over ‘Careless Spending’

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Rwanda President Paul Kagame has criticised the East African Community (EAC) over “careless spending” and labelled the bloc “too expensive”.Speaking at Rwanda’s 2016 Leaders’ Retreat, the president criticised the regional bloc and vowed to stop his ministers from billing unnecessary travel expenses. Kagame said he got his inspiration from Tanzania President John Magufuli, whose austerity measures have earnt him a name across Africa.

 

Inspired by Magufuli

“Ministers now have consultancy works for other countries than working for their own country,” Kagame told his audience. “President Magufuli has stopped them. It has come to where the cost of closing travels for EAC meetings is less costly,” he said.

Magufuli, who is acting chairperson of the EAC,  accused the bloc of “blowing up finds recklessly” at the heads of state summit last week. The Tanzanian leader was quick to limit foreign travel for his own officials after being elected in November last year, as part of his widespread austerity measures.

His hardline approach to cutting costs and tackling corruption soon became a trending topic and now Rwanda’s Paul Kagame appears to have been inspired.

 

Kagame joins EAC criticism, vows to cut spending

Kagame has promised to “tighten things up” after being patient with the cost incurred by travel expenses for EAC meetings. The president proposed entrusting all bloc activities to his minister of EAC affairs, Valentine Rugwabiza.

“The EAC minister can do it. I can afford to have her in Arusha as some kind of ambassador. If any of you (ministers) wants anything to do in Arusha, tell her and let her do it. We can back her up with one or two people to help her make dossiers for the community,” he told the assembly.

“If Rwanda needs to confirm attendance of ministers for EAC meetings to happen, then the meetings will not happen. I am counting and cutting my losses on this one. This is not going to happen again,” he added.

 

Featured image:

By © ITU/J.Ohle, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=31853376

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.