House Passes Anti-Corruption Bill

JOHN2Parliament has passed the Anti-Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2013 intended to strengthen the law against corruption in Uganda.
The Bill, introduced to Parliament by Hon. John Ssimbwa (NRM, Makindye East) as a Private Members Bill in August 2013, also provides for mandatory confiscation of property of persons convicted of offences under the Act.
The Bill sought to widen the scope of categories of persons who may commit the offences of embezzlement and causing financial loss by the inclusion of political leaders and private companies.
It provides that “A person, who does or fails to do any act knowing or having reason to believe that the act or omission will cause financial loss to the political office, government, bank, credit institution, a company or a public body or private body commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding 336 currency points or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 14 years or both.”
Although the Anti-Corruption Act gave court the discretion to order for the confiscation or property of a convicted person, the nature of offences under the Act made it difficult to prove that the particular property was derived directly or indirectly from corruption.
The new law provides for confiscation of property located outside Uganda or beyond the jurisdiction of the courts in Uganda. It provides that  ‘Where the prosecuting authority believes that any property that is a subject of a court order is situated in a country or territory outside Uganda, the prosecuting authority shall send a request for assistance to the Minister responsible for Justice to be forwarded to that country for enforcement.
The Anti-Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2013 awaits Presidential assent before it takes effect.

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