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Tanzania is not a stumbling block to EAC integration: Minister Sitta

The Minister for East African Cooperation Hon. Samuel Sitta has said that Tanzania is not a stumbling block to East African Community’s (EAC) integration process as some people claim.

 He said Tanzania is perceived as a slow member in the EAC because of its attitude of being careful and serious when it comes to dealing with all matters of EAC regional integration.

Responding to questions in the Parliament on Thursday May 22nd, Minister Sitta said the cautious approach deployed by Tanzania in the EAC was due to the fact that the country still has bad memories of the collapse of the former EAC in 1977.

“Tanzania as an important member of EAC has no intention of being a stumbling block to the integration process. We want to be sure with everything we do so that we don’t repeat the same mistake,” the minister said

Minister Sitta said after the collapse of the first EAC Tanzania lost many things including properties, businesses and relationship with member states worsened to the extent that the border with Kenya was closed.

He said he believes that the approach used by Tanzania is good and beneficial not only to Tanzania but to the entire EAC bloc.

Minister Sitta allayed fears that the tri-lateral meetings by Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda were not something to be worried about as the three countries only meet for projects that directly affect the Northern Corridor.

Minister Sitta was responding to the questions from several members of Parliament after tabling the 2014/2015 budget estimates on 22nd May, 2014.