Sunday, May 26, 2024

UDC wants DCEC ‘removed’ from OP

The main opposition in Parliament – Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) intends to table a Private Members Bill to amend the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crimes (DCEC) Act.

The intention seeks to reduce the vested powers that the state president has on the agency.  

In a special address to Parliament on Monday afternoon, Leader of Opposition – Dumelang Saleshando said that they are concerned at the frequent change of guard at the DCEC. 

The DCEC has had four directors between August 2017 and September 2020 – a three-year period which also forms part of President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s tenure in the highest office of the land.

The Maun West Member of Parliament said that given the importance of the DCEC mandate, change in the leadership of the organisation at the drop of a hat should raise eyebrows. 

“The DCEC is expected to independently execute its duties without political interference”, Saleshando told Parliament.

As part of the solution, Saleshando said that the UDC will propose amendments to the DCEC Act through a Private Members Bill during the next session of Parliament to ensure amongst other things the Security of tenure for the Director General of the DCEC.

The proposed amendments, if passed, will also see the removal of the corruption bursting agency from the control of the Office of the President.

 The amendment Bill will also propose that the appointment of the Director General of DCEC is subjected to a transparent process that is aimed at identifying the most competent applicant. Currently the Director Generals, just like their counterparts at Department of Public Prosecution and the Directorate of the Intelligence and Security Services (DISS) are appointed by the President.

UDC says it will also propose the removal from the DCEC Act clauses that empower the President to interfere with the DCEC investigations as well as get the agency to submit its reports to Parliament and not the Office of the President.

Saleshando told Parliament that, “The above measures, in our view, will go a long way in empowering the DCEC to tackle the spreading cancerous wave of corruption that is taking our country to the grave under the BDP misrule”.

Saleshando’s address comes hardly a few weeks after the former Director General of the DCEC – Tymon Katholo was brought back to head the agency following the redeployment of its immediate past leader – Joseph Mathambo to the Botswana Defence Force (BDF).

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