EACJ dismisses Burundi case challenging EALA Speaker election

On July 2nd, the East African Court of Justice-EACJ dismissed the case filed by the Republic of Burundi protesting against the election of Martin Ngoga as EALA Speaker

The East African Court of Justice during a hearing

The accusations made by the Republic of Burundi that the election of the 4th EALA Speaker was not fair are “unfounded and untenable”. The evidence given by Burundi was amounted to hearsay and it could not be considered in the determination of the case according to the EACJ.
The court, therefore, dismissed the case as it was not supported by any strong evidence. The decision of the court means that the election of Martin Ngoga as Speaker of the East African Legislative Assembly was legal.

Regarding the same case, the last hearing took place in March 2019. During the hearing, Nestor Kayobera, the lawyer representing Burundi said the EALA Speaker was not elected in accordance with the EAC Treaty and rules of the EALA assembly. He asked the court to order the reelection of EALA Speaker.
“Mr. Martin Ngoga was elected while members from Burundi and Tanzania were absent,” said Mr. Kayobera. There has been violation of good governance principles and rules of law, he added.
Mr. Kayobera said he was not satisfied with the judicial decision adding that it was too early to decide whether to appeal against it or not.

Anthony Kafumbe, the lawyer representing the Secretary General of the East African Community, said the EALA Speaker was elected according to the rule of law and no principles were violated. He asked the court to dismiss the case.

The latter was brought to court after that Martin Ngoga, from the Republic of Rwanda, was elected a fourth EALA Speaker on December 19, 2017. Burundi and Tanzania boycotted the election saying it was illegal.

The EALA Speaker is elected by members of the assembly. The office is rotational among member States.
EACJ is a judicial organ of the East African Community. It ensures the adherence to law in the interpretation and application of, and compliance with the East African Community Treaty of 1999.