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EAC Secretariat denies losing $2mn in its Arusha account

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The East African Community (EAC) has refuted claims of losing hundreds of millions of shillings in its General Reserve Fund in Arusha, Tanzania.

In a statement to newsrooms, an EAC official distanced the institution from claims alleging that the entity had lost funds through irregular transfers to an account held by the secretariat at Ecobank in Burundi, from its’ Reserve Fund which is meant to hold between 8 and 10 million US dollars.

The statement said that the regional intergovernmental organization’s General Reserve Account has never had a balance exceeding USD 4 million, adding that its current balance is “close to nil as a result of liquidity challenges resulting from delays in the disbursement of budgetary contributions from Partner State.

“When available, the reserves can only be used based on an approval by the EAC Council of Ministers. In all the Partner States, EAC has opened a current account for receiving budgetary contributions. In the case of Burundi, the account is maintained with Ecobank Burundi,” read the statement.

Auditors picked by Council of Ministers had two week ago launched an inquest into whereabouts of $2 million, believed to have been fraudulently transferred from EAC’s Stanchart account in Tanzania into its Ecobank account in Burundi for membership payments (fee) in that country.

The Secretariat further said that there has never been a transfer of funds from the EAC General Reserve Account (Standard Chartered Bank Tanzania) to Ecobank Burundi EAC Account.

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“On the contrary, the contribution deposited by the Government of Burundi through our Ecobank Account has been transferred to our account in KCB Arusha to facilitate operations of EAC Organs and Institutions. Equally, the transactions between EAC Secretariat and EASTECO have been done through the respective bank accounts,” the statement sates.

“In sum, there has never been any disappearance of a single coin from the EAC Coffers, and this can be verified by the competent authorities established by the EAC Treaty,” concludes the statement.

This matter however did not feature in the just concluded 18th Ordinary East African Community (EAC) Heads of State Summit in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The summit will focused on EU-EAC Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and Sustainable Financing Mechanism for the Community, as well as the status of the EAC Political Federation, the accelerated integration of South Sudan into the EAC, the verification exercise for the admission of the Republic of Somalia into the regional block

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