Ashraf’s Column

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Reform of Anti-Corruption Commission

Previously when the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) was there at least some corrupt officials, of course from lower levels, were prosecuted by the bureau and some were punished too. Since the so-called ACC came into being, more than two years ago, the corrupt officials at all levels and the politicians in power got a free hand to indulge in corruption without any fear of accountability. These corrupt elements in bureaucracy and politics have been making the best use of the total inactivity of the ACC. They have been fleecing national wealth right and left. The present Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) was formed with three well-known old men from Jatiyatabadi Gharana (BNP camp). After having seen the activities of these three men one can certainly conclude that they were engaged not to fight or control corruption. These three superannuated persons were appointed by the then BNP government to hoodwink the donors as well as the people of Bangladesh. They have served their masters well. During their tenure, so far, no one has been charged and punished for corruption. The chairman and the members of the ACC may, in their self-defence, say that they were not allowed to function by the senior bureaucrats and the politicians in power. In that case, tax-payers may ask them, why didn’t you resign in protest and show your integrity and loyalty to the nation? What justification do you have to enjoy the salary and other privileges for more than two long years without doing anything?

Have you not yourselves indulged in corruption by taking salary and other privileges from the public exchequer by not doing at all what you were supposed to do?

It is high time these three men, who have proved themselves utterly useless, resigned from the ACC. If they don’t, the present caretaker government (CTG) should sack them immediately and appoint honest, efficient and non-partisan persons in their places. After three months whoever, from the present set of politicians, will come to power will not change the ACC and make it effective, simply because they themselves are known to be highly corrupt and their track records do not suggest that they would go for such a strong pro-people action. (For example, take the case of separation of the judiciary from the executive which both BNP and AL have been dodging for the last sixteen years.)

The matter is very urgent and warrants immediate attention of the CTG.

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