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South Sudan passes long-awaited Anti-Corruption Bill, 2008

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South Sudan passes long-awaited Anti-Corruption Bill, 2008
By James Gatdet Dak

October 10, 2008 (JUBA) – The Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS)’ Council of Ministers has finally passed the long-awaited Anti-Corruption Bill, 2008, and upgraded the status of the Southern Sudan Anti-Corruption Commission’s chairperson to that of a GoSS Minister with the accompanying privileges and entitlements.

The Bill, which is the first of its kind in the semi-autonomous Government, would now be tabled before the parliament for endorsement and becomes the law that would legally guide the sensitive work of the Anti-Corruption Commission.

The Commission could not carry out investigations into alleged corrupt practices in the Government for the last three years since formation due to lack of enacted laws that would give it legal powers to do so.

Thousands of alleged corruption cases pending investigations have accumulated over the years, with more than 1,400 cases in the year 2008 alone, according to the Commission’s chairperson, Dr. Pauline Riak.

In the meeting chaired by the GoSS President, Salva Kiir Mayardit, the Council of Ministers also resolved to improve the security of the Commission’s Chairperson by providing more protection.

It also upgraded the status of the Deputy Chairperson to Undersecretary and all other President’s appointed members of the Commission to a uniformed status of Director-General of a GoSS Ministry.

The cabinet also passed the Human Rights Bill, 2008, both of which were presented to the Council by the GoSS Minister of Legal Affairs and Constitutional Development, Justice Michael Makuei Lueth.

The cabinet also upgraded the status of the Chairperson of the Southern Sudan Human Rights Commission to a full Minister.
President Kiir has declared zero-tolerance on corruption in his Government since the year 2006, and has been publicly warning against those who practice corruption in all its forms.

In his closing remarks during the 6th Governors Forum last week, Kiir said his Government’s hands were tied down because of lack of enacted laws on corruption.

If the Bill is enacted sooner into law by the Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly (SSLA), the law would equip the Commission with the necessary legal powers to chase and catch alleged corrupt officials for investigations and possible prosecutions.

Written by torit1955

October 12, 2008 at 1:08 pm