By Malum Nalu
The long-overdue Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) bill cannot be introduced in the February session of Parliament for its final reading because of red tape, says Constitutional and Law
Reform Commission Secretary Dr Eric Kwa.
He told The National it was not yet ready despite the Government wanting to get ICAC up and running as soon as possible.
“They (Government) were thinking that they would get it through the November (2017) sitting,” Kwa said.
“What we did is that together with the Minister for Justice, Davis Steven, we quickly briefed the Government and got them up to date on the proposed organic law.
“The status we established last August is that the constitutional amendment has already happened, so ICAC is already ready.
“The only outstanding matter is the organic law.
“The organic law went through the first reading in 2015, but before it could go through for the second reading, for some reason it has not progressed up until Parliament went for election.
“According to the rules of Parliament, everything that happens in the old parliament ceases.
“When the new parliament comes, everything must start fresh.
“Therefore, Minister Davis Steven instructed us to put together further documentation to go to Cabinet.
“We have done that now.
“The plan was to get the draft bill to Cabinet by November last year.
“We tried to put it together, but unfortunately, we were stuck with the state-solicitor to give us the certificate-of-necessity.”
Kwa said the draft was to have been made ready last month, but it was again not ready.
“This month (February), it would have had the first reading,” he said.
“We’re hoping that we can get through to Cabinet over the next two weeks so that they can give the approval and we can gazette it so that the first reading can happen in the next sitting.
“We cannot have it in this sitting because according to the Constitution, you have to advertise first for a month once Cabinet gives approval.”
By Malum Nalu