Members of Parliament (MPs) have asked the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to clear people who have not been found on the wrong side of the law.
The MPs made the call on Tuesday when ACB officials appeared before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament to answer questions on an audit report that faulted the bureau in its financial transactions for the year ending June 30 2019.
The legislators expressed concern that there is a lot of publicity when ACB is investigating and arresting people, but there is silence when the investigations yield nothing against suspects.
The MPs were concerned that investigations affect people’s reputation, especially politicians; hence, need for ACB to apply the same energy in clearing names of people found innocent.
Speaking in an interview, PAC vice-chairperson Ned Poya stressed that it is proper for the ACB to clear people when investigations do not point at wrongdoing on their part.
He said people go through trauma when they are investigated as the public judges them, adding that the families of people being investigated are affected, too.
Said Poya: “It is high time that when ACB starts investigating somebody and they find that person to be clean, it is better to declare with the same pomp that came when arresting the person.
“It involves somebody’s life, relations and a lot of people. Once you are being questioned by ACB, most people cannot conclude that you are clean or not. So, the issue of ACB clearing someone [who has] been investigated is of paramount importance.”
But ACB deputy director general Elia Bodole dismissed the need to clear people, saying the bureau does not condemn people in its investigations.
He said investigations do not entail that someone is corrupt.
“But when the person has been taken to court, then he needs to be cleared and it is the court that will clear him,” said Bodole.