Lawmakers bless anti-corruption bill to proceed to the final stage, but…

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Justice Minister Dawda Jallow

By Fatou Dahaba

The National Assembly has considered the much anticipated Anti-Corruption Bill of 2019 to proceed to the third reading stage after a clause-by-clause review by the lawmakers amid criticism from some sections of Gambians for deliberating removing a necessary clause on illicit enrichment, which delves into having unexplained wealth.

The bill was first tabled In 2019 by Former Justice Minister and Attorney General Abubakar M. Tanbadou and is meant to hold public officials to account and further prevent misappropriation of public funds.
The consideration stage of the bill resulted in a heated debate among members as to which clauses should be amended and removed and those they think should be left in their original states.

The Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Dawda Jallow, guided and oversaw the process.

However, after parliamentarians considered the bill, the speaker urged the Justice Minister to return on Tuesday, 19th September, for the third reading.
The bill has been among the numerous promises made by President Adama Barrow during his 2016 campaign trail.

As the Assembly prepares to pass the bill, many citizens believe that the Anti-Corruption law will enhance transparency and accountability within public institutions and deter the menace of corruption and mismanagement of national funds within the government ranks.

In a similar but separate development, the Finance and Public Account Committee has passed a resolution for public institutions wanting to misappropriate the Covid funds at a stunning amount of D142 million to account for the funds or face legal actions.

They said the Assembly would take appropriate action against any institutions found guilty of misappropriating the funds, and prosecution is an option.

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