EAC presidents skip summit, only Museveni-Magufuli attend

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Museveni sits beside Magufuli looking lonely and abandoned

Four presidents of the East African community [EAC] on Saturday for various yet to be known reasons skipped the 18th Ordinary East African Community Heads of State Summit.

According to a programme released by the EAC, presidents of the six countries making up the East African Community including; President Uhuru Kenyatta (Kenya), Yoweri Museveni (Uganda), Paul Kagame (Rwanda), Pierre Nkurunziza (Burundi) and for the first time, Salva Kiir Mayardit of South Sudan, were expected to attend.

Museveni and Magufuli sitting with representatives of other presidents

By Saturday morning, only Museveni showed up at Jakaya Kikwete hall at Tanzania’s State House where the summit is taking place.

He was welcomed by Tanzania’s Magufuli hoping the others would join them later.

Kenya President Kenyatta chose to spend the day in Isiolo town in the former Eastern Province, Kenya urging Isiolo residents to ignore politicians who preach division and intolerance.

Kenyatta addressing Isiolo residents is eastern Kenya

Even South Sudan President Kiir who was attending as a full member of EAC for the first time, was a no show.

He delegated to his deputy, William Ruto, to attend on his behalf.

Kagame and Nkurunziza also delegated either prime minister or ministers to take their places at the summit.

At the summit, Museveni planned to highlight the issue of a joint move to Burundi by the lead facilitator and mediator in an effort to urge all stakeholders to engage in dialogue.

Mkapa [R] the chief negotiator
However, the chief negotiator and former Tanzania President, Benjamin Mkapa, reportedly walked out of the summit.

The summit was called to consider EU-EAC Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and Sustainable Financing Mechanism for the Community and the status of the EAC Political Federation, the appointment of a Deputy Secretary General from the Tanzania, the appointment of a Judge from South Sudan to the First Instance Division of the East African Court of Justice.

Mkapa walked out of the summit

It was also supposed to receive a report on the road map for the accelerated integration of South Sudan into the EAC, and consider progress report on the implementation framework for the EAC Institutional Review.