Finally, the East African Community (EAC) Integrity and Anti-Corruption Bill, 2019 has been passed.
The Bill, which had repeatedly been tabled before the East African Legislative Assembly (Eala) for the past three years, now awaits formal enactment.
Eala debated and passed the Bill on Tuesday at the ongoing First Sitting of the Second Meeting of the Fifth Session.
The enactment has delivered another telling blow against corruption, a vice blamed for plundering public resources in the region.Eala members said it marked an important stage in a series of decisive steps to enhance accountability on public resources.
The Bill envisages the promotion of good governance, transparency and accountability in the EAC organs and institutions.It is also intended to strengthen the legal framework for preventing and combating corruption in the six-nation EAC bloc.In so doing, it would provide for cooperation by the national anti-corruption agencies in preventing and combating corruption and related matters.
The Bill further envisages corruption and corrupt practices as undermining effective and efficient utilization of the resources available to EAC bodies.The Bill is now to be forwarded to the EAC Heads of State for assent in line with Article 63 of the 1999 Treaty that established EAC.
The anti-graft Bill targets persons in the service of the EAC organs and institutions especially in utilisation of the scarce resources.The proposed law is set to ensure that corruption and other forms of fraud are eliminated within the EAC ranks.
The mover of the Bill is a lawmaker from Burundi, Mr Victor Burikukiye, who said corruption within the ranks of EAC staff must be fought by all means. “There is a need to have deterrent sanctions that prevent persons in the service of the Community from engaging in the vice,” he said.