28 August 2014

Tanzania: New Law to Shield Whistleblowers

Moshi — A NEW law seeking to shield whistleblowers in the overall effort to fight corruption in the country is now on the drawing tables.

The urgency for such a law has been given more weight as the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) here has drawn up resolutions to reach out to the grassroots level in fighting the vice.

The Minister of State in the President's Office (Good Governance), Mr George Mkuchika, said on Wednesday that he is going to closely follow up the issue to ensure that the new law that has been awaited for so long is at last enacted.

Addressing the closing session of the three-day AGM, Mr Mkuchika, also said that he was going to make sure the law enforcing institution is incorporated in the new constitution as its leaders had requested.

This comes as the meeting endorsed resolutions to provide continuous training to all investigation officers on how to obtain the best method of obtaining electronic evidence that will be tendered in court against graft suspects.

PCCB Director General Dr Edward Hoseah mentioned another resolution as the one seeking to initiate a law formulation process to name document and electronic evidence experts who will be published in the Government Gazette.

Other resolutions include utilising new methods to win the cooperation of citizens in exposing corrupt practices, persuade citizens to volunteer information and tender evidence in court without fear once cases are filed in courts of law.

Also the PCCB, which works closely with the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP)'s office, will amplify professionalism and supervise prosecutors and track specific case proceedings in court while newly- employed staff will be subjected to continuous scrutiny before and after they start service.

Mr Mkuchika said from now on, PCCB officials will be providing education to councillors in all districts so that leaders from the grassroots do self-assessment on how they have been involving themselves in fighting and combating corruption. Earlier, Dr Hoseah appealed to the minister to help in the process of incorporating PCCB in the new constitution.

"As you know, we worked together with you and submitted our views to the Constitutional Review Commission. However, what was decided thereafter was beyond our anticipation," said the DG.

The minister praised PCCB in general and Dr Hoseah in particular for the good job in preventing and combating corruption, including the criterion he uses in making sure the institution gets resources needed for the job.

"I would like to take this opportunity to exclusively congratulate the Director General, Dr Edward Hoseah, for the good job he is doing in managing implementation of PCCB responsibilities without giving up even when cooperation from other institutions is minimal.

"His excellent performance and confidence is evident and that is why he has been chosen to be a leader in different capacities internationally in as far as combating corruption is concerned," Mr Mkuchika noted.


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