The Cabinet has approved a draft law relating to the protection of whistleblowers, which the Ministry of Justice says will help cover the loopholes in the old legislation. According to Justice minister Johnston Busingye, protection of informers has been strengthened in the revised legislation, while steps have been taken to ensure integrity of information given by whistleblowers. The draft law, approved by the Cabinet last week, will simplify the process for people with valuable information to come forward without worrying about cumbersome procedures or exposing themselves to risks.
Many a time cases collapse because people with information that could lead to a conviction, recovery of property or protection of public interests shy away for fear of victimisation or being targeted by the culprits.
Assuring whistleblowers of full protection by the law is significant in the fight against abuse of public funds or bribery, as well as unethical practices, particularly in civil service. It is also commendable that the revised law makes it risky for profiteers and malicious people that would want to abuse the system or tarnish names of others as the draft law provides for penalties, including jail terms and hefty fines, for such people. It is, therefore, essential that citizens are sensitised about the legislation once it has come into force so they can understand how they can use it to fight crime and injustice in their communities.
The lawmakers should expedite the process to enact the draft legislation into law once it is tabled for consideration.