Anti-corruption crusaders from around the six-nation East African Community recently held a consultative meeting on a draft EAC asset declaration protocol.
The regional economic bloc, made up of Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda, is seeking to come up with a common framework that will helps curtail embezzlement of public funds.
The team deliberated on issue to be included in asset declaration forms, with some proposing that a public official should provide the source of the declared asset, the date of acquisition and present value, assets of their spouses (if married), property of their minor children, donations made to their patrimony, among others.
There were also proposals to establish an EAC Advisory Board to monitor declaration of assets across the community, with some suggesting that this role can be played by the regional bloc’s legislative Committee on Legal, Rules, and Privileges, instead of creating another body.
Additionally, the crusaders called for full integration of ICT services in every aspect of declaration of assets as a strategy to minimise physical contact and possible irregularities.
The fight against corruption calls for regional integration and efforts in order to seal loop holes that perpetrators use to embezzle public funds. At a time when, East African countries are committing themselves to fight the corruption menace and proposing laws that push for transparency both in in the public and private sector, the legal proposals by non-governmental organizations will go a long way in tightening the grip in the war against graft.