Shut your mind, for a moment, to unproven claims that he makes wealth, enormous wealth through his undercover work, and all the questions, perhaps unnecessary, about his methods. I am not asking that you are uncritical or do not examine the matters properly and to point out any wrong or unprofessional conduct in his corruption project. My Take is very brief for a purpose.
I have spoken and written about how the state is only paying lip service to the corruption fight and failing to encourage citizens to help it succeed by providing protection and reward for whistleblowers.
Please ask just how much is Anas rewarded for risking his life in the manner he does to expose corruption. The framers of the 1992 Constitution realising that the fight against corruption needed to be elevated to a constitutional imperative and impetus, decided to enjoin the state in article 35 (8) that “[t]he state shall take steps to eradicate corrupt practices and the abuse of power”.
In compliance, the state has established a number of institutions and schemes to fight corruption. The constitution additionally gave citizens the onerous duty in article 41 (f) of the Constitution “to protect and preserve public property and expose and combat misuse and waste of public funds and property”.
It is in furtherance of this goal of getting all hands on deck in fighting corruption that in 2006, the country passed the Whistleblower Act (Act 720). It provides opportunity and clear rules for all persons to blow the whistle on acts of corruption and get protection and reward for doing so. I supply Section 12 without commentary:
“(1) A whistleblower shall not be subjected to victimisation by the employer of the whistleblower or by a fellow employee or by another person because a disclosure has been made. (2) A whistleblower shall be considered as having been subjected to victimisation if because of making the disclosure, (a) the whistleblower, being an employee, is (i) dismissed, (ii) suspended, (iii) declared redundant, (iv) denied promotion, (v) transferred against the whistleblower's will, (vi) harassed, (vii) intimidated, (viii) threatened with any of the matters set out in subparagraph (i) to (vii), or (ix) subjected to a discriminatory or other adverse measure by the employer or a fellow employee, or (b) not being an employee, the whistleblower is subjected to discrimination, intimidation or harassment by a person or an institution.”
The unfortunate thing is that very little help, if at all, is given to informants or persons who comply with this law in seeking to assist the state expose corrupt people. The law actually provides added protection by giving immunity in Section 18 in these terms“[a] whistleblower is not liable to civil or criminal proceedings in respect of the disclosure unless it is proved that that whistleblower knew that the information contained in the disclosure is false and the disclosure was made with malicious intent.”
But just why has the state not set up the fund as commanded by the law to reward those who successfully expose corruption leading to the state recovering money which would have been lost to the state? Again, I supply sections 23 and 24 without commentary:
Reward on conviction
23. A whistleblower who makes a disclosure that leads to the arrest and conviction of an accused person shall be rewarded with money from the Fund.
Reward on recovery of money
24. A whistleblower whose disclosure results in the recovery of an amount of money shall be rewarded from the Fund with (a) ten percent of the amount of money recovered, or (b) the amount of money that the Attorney-General shall, in consultation with the Inspector-General of Police, determine.
Disbursement of Fund
27. (1) The disbursement of moneys from the Fund shall be determined by the Board.
(2) The Board shall within thirty days on receipt of the submission of a claim for payment out of the Fund, approve (a) payment of a reward from the Fund, (b) the reimbursement of expenses incurred by a whistleblower hose disclosure resulted in an investigation for which that person incurred those expenses, and (c) the payment of other relevant expenses that the Board may determine.
(3) An amount payable under paragraph (a) and (b) of subsection (2) shall be paid within a period of not more than fourteen days from the date the payment of the money is approved.
(4) Each payment issued from the Fund shall be signed for by the chairperson of the Board and the Inspector-General of Police.
This clearly is a big boost and major incentive to encourage people to help the corruption fight. The lip service is too much and not needed. If the state is sincere about winning the corruption fight, please establish this fund immediately and embark of an awareness creation and educate people about this law. The AG, IGP and CHRAJ are major players in the implementation of this law. Question is what have they done? Let’s get serious!
Samson Lardy ANYENINI
June 9, 2018