Muawad Mustafa Rashid
The social media outlets were overwhelmed in the recent days about the joint meeting of the Sovereign Council and the Council of Ministers that endorsed the anti-corruption commission.
The joint meeting also confirmed the continuation of the Empowerment Removal and the Recovery of Public Funds Committee, with full support to conduct its mission in a professional manner.
The joint meeting’s objective was to endorse the anti-corruption commission bill and at the same time to remove any confusion or contradiction between the anti-corruption law and the Empowerment Removal and the Recovery of Public Funds act.
According to legal experts the formation of the anti-corruption commission doesn’t contradict the work the Empowerment Removal Committee and the Recovery of Public Funds considering that the formation of the two is a constitutional merit.
Prime Minister Dr. Abdullah Hamdok said that the Empowerment Removal and the Recovery of Public Funds Committee represents one of the most important institutions that achieve the slogans of the glorious revolution.
However, the transitional government was in need to rein the corruption phenomenon. which has become a daily practice allowing the corrupt to enjoy their lives due to the weak laws that make it easier to evade punishment.
The national assembly of the ousted regime endorsed an act of establishing a National Commission of Transparency, Integrity and Anti-corruption; a matter that found welcoming from the international community considering that enforcing the act will contribute in combating corruption or at least scaling down its spread, besides improving Sudan’s rank in the Corruption Perceptions Index.
Unfortunately, the proposed act was kept in the drawers of the national assembly after its endorsement without being sent to the concerned institutions to enforce it.
But now it is apparent that the transitional government recognized the importance of establishing an anti-corruption commission with broad authorities.
The Ministry’s Call
The Ministry of Justice, in collaboration with the UNDP, has organized recently a workshop to discuss the proposed anti-corruption act and the commission’s authorities.
In his address to the workshop, the Minister of Justice called for giving the proposed commission broad monitoring authorities along with independence to make able to remove immunity in all corruption cases considering that most corrupt persons are those officials who enjoy immunity.
We believe that enforcing the proposed anti-corruption act requires a strong political will, because in the absence of political will the act will be just similar to those endorsed earlier without being applied.
It goes without saying that completing the anti-corruption system is the only guarantee for Sudan to be within the states that have achieved progress in this dossier.
Writing-off the foreign debts and lifting the economic embargo could only be achieved if Sudan is classified among the states that have achieved considerable progress in combatting corruption.
According to experts, the articles included in the anti-corruption act are enough to deter the criminals, thus scaling down the cases of corruption.
The establishment of the anti-corruption act meets the requirements of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), and this will automatically improve the rank of Sudan in the Corruption Perceptions Index.
This is all in thanks to Minister of Justice for his serious steps towards making Sudan a state of constitutional institutions.
We believe that the endorsement of the law represents a leap towards combating corruption or at least scaling down its spread.
The application of the new law requires political will because in the absence of political will those laws won’t differ from similar laws which were not applied.
According to experts, the articles included in the law are enough to deter the criminals, thus scale down the cases of corruption.
The endorsement of the legislations meets the requirement of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), and this will automatically improve the rank of Sudan in the Corruption Perceptions Index.
In this regard we urge the concerned institutions in the government to recognize the considerable efforts of the Sudanese Transparency Organization and to support its mission in promoting transparency and integrity at all levels and across all sectors of society.
Setting the legislation and regulations along with applying it will send a message to the Transparency International and other organizations that the legal environment to tackle the defects is now available.