Assembly endorses Anti-Corruption Bill
National Assembly Members on Thursday endorsed the Anti-Corruption Bill meant to monitor the mismanagement of public funds and all forms of corruption.
The bill is reported to have gone through several stages of scrutiny and amendments in order to make it fit for purpose.
The bill, in parliament since the fifth legislature now has been passed after a number of clauses had been removed and others amended.
During the debate for it to pass the consideration stage on the 18th December, the Deputy Speaker of the House moved that the interpretation of Undue Influence under clause 2 be removed and that the word be deleted wherever it appeared.
The second recommendation from the Chair of the Finance and Public Accounts Committee (FPAC) moved for clause 75 (formerly 76) on the Prosecution of Offences to be amended to enhance the independence of the Commission to pursue prosecution.
After some lengthy discussions on the first motion and much less discussions on the second motion, it was agreed to maintain the Anti-Corruption Bill in its current form without any amendments.
Given the fact that the reconsideration stage has been passed, this can only now be considered a missed opportunity to strengthen the independence of the Anti-Corruption Commission.
It is very likely that if persons close to the President and the Attorney General are found wanting of corruption, they would not be prosecuted.
After its first presentation on 20 March 2023, the bill was again tabled on 27 March 2023 for Members to engage in the second reading on the consideration stage, the bill was finally passed on 21st December 2023.
Source: The Point