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General News of Tuesday, 12 September 2017


Parliament holds stakeholder conference on the Office of the Special Prosecutor Bill

The Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs has brought various stakeholders together to deliberate on the Office of the Special Prosecutor Bill which is expected to be passed by Parliament soon.

The Bill when passed into law, will bring about the setup of the Office of the Special Prosecutor whose mandate will be to investigate and prosecute corruption and corruption related offences.

Chairman of the Committee, Ben Abdallah Banda in his speech said the contributions from stakeholders was very important to Parliament hence the need for the two-day conference.

He said, “Parliament in its wisdom deemed it necessary to have a brainstorming session of this nature put together so that we can all ultimately take ownership of this project which is so dear to the heart of everyone. Your invaluable contributions therefore to the passage of this Bill into a formidable law are of paramount importance to the Committee in particular and Parliament as a whole”.

Mr Banda stated that corruption is leading to the loss of public confidence and trust in public institutions and if not dealt with now, “could ultimately erode the efforts of arousing national consciousness and nation building”.

First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei-Owusu said the Bill after it has been passed into law may not be sufficient to curb corruption on its own.

“However well we craft this law, it may not be sufficient on its own to wholly curb corruption and impunity, if we do not develop a new ethic, a new culture and a mindset that is sufficiently arrogant as to see corruption of any form as beneath us and therefore reject it out right”, he said.

He also urged participants of the conference to pay particular attention to the wording of each clause to “ensure that there is no room for ambiguity or the need to refer any part of the bill after it’s been passed to the courts for interpretation” as that will be risky.