Friday, June 5, 2015

PUBLIC DEMANDS HARSHER PENALTIES AGAINST CORRUPT LEADERS


Public forums being held by the Ombudsman Commission to  seek views on changes to their enabling  legislating  have  drawn  strong calls  for harsher penalties on corrupt leaders.
The Ombudsman Commission is  holding the forums all over the country to seek public input on changes to the laws that govern them.   The OC,   also  the arm of government that   administers  leadership tribunals, has received wide ranging  calls for stronger penalties on  leaders found guilty of  offences including theft of  public money. 
Ombudsman,   Phoebe Sangetari,   points out that it’s  a reflection of  general public  sentiment stemming from laws that have not evolved  with the  changes in the country.
                “many feel that the penalties are in sufficient and they want harsher penalties imposed upon leaders who err.”
The laws governing the Ombudsman Commission were  made  40 years ago and are still being used today despite their  ineffectiveness  in the 21st century.
Given the financial muscle of  today’s  public office holders,  some sections of the  laws are useless. 
For  instance if a leader  is   found guilty but not dismissed, the leadership tribunal can fine him a maximum of K1000 for each offence or impose a K500 kina “good behavior”  bond.
The first challenge  is   to get the legislative changes finalized.  Challenge number 2 – and perhaps the most important -  is to get the politicians to agree to laws that may come back to bite them  sometime in the future.

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