New East African Community Bill to protect informants

Saturday October 27 2018

Law

A draft law to protect whistleblowers in the East African Community, if passed, will enable partner states to provide budgets for the protection of people who reveal cases of corruption and misappropriation of public funds. PHOTO | FILE 

By FRED OLUOCH
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A draft law to protect whistleblowers in the East African Community is set for the second reading at the regional assembly in the coming weeks.

If passed, the EAC Whistleblowers Bill, 2018 will enable partner states to provide budgets for the protection of people who reveal cases of corruption and misappropriation of public funds.

Aden Abdikadir, a Kenyan representative at the East African Legislative Assembly (Eala), said the Bill will help expose the misuse of public funds as those with information will no longer fear for their lives.

The Eala Standing Committee on Legal, Rules and Privileges held sessions in the all the partner states from October 15 - 18.

The public hearings were for stakeholders to participate in the legislative process in the EAC as per Article 7 of the Treaty, which emphasises on the principle of people-centred integration.

The committee is currently preparing a report with all comments received, as well as the observations and recommendations of the stakeholders. It will be tabled before the assembly during the second reading of the Bill.

According to Eala senior public relations officer Bibi Odiko, the Bill becoming law will depend on the speed with which the committee completes the work before returning it to the House.

“The Bill is considered a critical one and legislators and the assembly are keen to dispense with it at the earliest opportunity. If done in good time, it could be considered at the next sitting of the Eala from November 25 to December 10,” he said.

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