EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, The Gambia: Lawmakers in The Gambia in their fourth ordinary session of the 2019 legislative year Tuesday considered and passed the Anti-Corruption Bill at the National Assembly building in the capital, Banjul.
There have been series of questions and demands raised by activists since former president Yahya Jammeh’s tenure for the Bill to be passed by the National Assembly. It is created to fight, what many have called the widespread of corruption in the country.
Moving the motion, Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubacarr Ba Tambedou said the bill will fight against corruption and would give powers to the Anti-corruption commission to investigate and prosecute people involved in corrupt practices.
Mr Tambedou said the commission alone cannot eradicate corruption in the country, but said its creation is among many ways government intends to deal with corrupt practices.
According to him, the commission would be supported by government to be able to independently carry out its functions, and protect those who provide information to the commission.
The Justice Minister said the complications involve in fighting corruption begs for concerted efforts, saying the government is vigilant in its role and responsibility to fight corruption cognizant of its delicate nature.
Lawmakers welcomed the tabling of the bill by the minister, with many of them saying it passing is long overdue as corruption has been the order of the day in the country.
While some of them show appreciation of the bill, the NAM for Serrekunda, Halifa Sallah said corruption cannot be fought with such laws while there is injustice. He said, there is no way corruption can end while people are neglected to suffer. “There is justice in our societies, and there should be justice before fighting corruption,” he added.
Kebba Jallow of Jarra central said corruption can only be fight if workers are paid good salaries. “The salary scale of civil service is very low, and we give people millions to take care of. At the end of the month, they will be paid an amount that cannot even buy a bag of rice or pay for rent. The government need to look in to the salary issue if we want to end corruption,” he said.
He joined other members to commend justice minister Tambedou for presenting the bill before the parliament, and expressed hope the bill will end corruption in the country.
Members also urged the minister to appoint honest and competent people to serve in the commission, saying they want people with integrity, dignity and honesty to serve in the commission so that they can do the job independently, without any influence from outside.
Story written by Amadou Kanteh