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Corruption money now difficult to hide

By Vision Reporter

Added 26th November 2009 03:00 AM

Two measures introduced in the past week will make it increasingly difficult for politicians and civil servants to hide any stolen government money.

Two measures introduced in the past week will make it increasingly difficult for politicians and civil servants to hide any stolen government money.

Last week, the finance minister tabled the Anti-Money Laundering Bill, making the laundering of illegally acquired wealth liable to 15 years in jail or a fine of up to sh2b.

Under the new law, anybody transporting more than sh30m across the border will have to notify the Customs and Excise Department of the Uganda Revenue Authority.

Finance institutions will be required to maintain accounts for customers in their true names and examine the origin and destination of the money they receive.

They should check the background and purpose of any transaction and the identity of the transacting parties, including any ultimate beneficiaries.

The Bill gives the court power to issue a confiscation order for property that was acquired through crime.

Property will also be confiscated if the court finds that somebody’s income from sources unrelated to criminal activity can not reasonably account for the acquisition of the property.

The second measure was the launch, this week, of the ‘Register of Providers’ platform, a website run by the Procurement body the Public Procurement and Disposal of public Assets (PPDA) that profiles all companies that want to do business with the Government.

The website, www.ppdaproviders.ug, is meant to stop briefcase and blacklisted companies from bidding for Government contracts, finance minister Syda Bbumba announced at the launch.

As President Yoweri Museveni predicted a few weeks ago, the net is increasingly tightening around the corrupt, and the number of traps is multiplying.

What remains is the digitalisation of data at the Land Registry, the Registrar of Companies and the NGOs board. What is also remaining is the project to issue electronic identity cards to all Ugandans.

Those frustrating these projects because they are benefiting from the mess should be sacked.

The war on corruption has started in earnest and the Internet is a great tool in providing more transparency.

Let us all participate by scrutinising the PPDA website and provide information on incompetent or fake companies that should be blacklisted.

Corruption money now difficult to hide

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