Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 22, 2023 (SKNIS): Senator the Honourable Dr. Joyelle Clarke strongly supported the Anti-Corruption Bill, 2023, and deemed it a very “historic and well-needed piece of legislation for the good governance agenda for St. Kitts and Nevis.”
The Anti-Corruption Bill, 2023, is a Bill to define and create criminal offences of corrupt conduct and to create the Office of a Special Prosecutor to receive complaints, investigate and prosecute acts of corrupt conduct of persons in public life in St. Christopher and Nevis. It was successfully passed in the National Assembly on February 22, 2023.
Simply put, Senator Dr. Clarke explained that anti-corruption speaks to making it “illegal to purchase political influence and puts the power back into the hands of the people.”
“We are addressing issues of political bribery; we are protecting and empowering the people of St. Kitts and Nevis through stronger legislation, and we are promoting a good governance agenda,” said Senator Dr. Clarke. “The ministerial and parliamentary responsibilities in terms of supporting this piece of legislation are profound, but can be simplified into three areas – accountability, transparency and transformation.”
Senator Dr. Clarke said that it is extremely important to be accountable because international donors “keep track of what we do with monies given to St. Kitts and Nevis so that we could transform our country.”
“We have a responsibility not just to the citizens of St. Kitts and Nevis, not just to the region, but to international donors, to countries that contribute to the transformation of our economy and that is why civil servants have to support anti-corruption laws,” she said. “There is a need for more transparency in how civil servants and how persons with influence function. There is a need to transform society.”
She applauded the Honourable Garth Wilkin, Attorney-General and Mover of the Bill, for bringing the “significant legislation to parliament and to the people of St. Kitts and Nevis” so that “we can have well-meaningful and well-intentioned debates on how we move our society forward in terms of good governance, transformation to a sustainable island state and, of course, protection of the people of St. Kitts and Nevis.”