Prevention of Corruption Act 1970

Chapter number: 

121

In-force: 

Yes

 

CHAPTER 121
THE PREVENTION OF CORRUPTION ACT.
Arrangement of Sections.

Section

Interpretation.

Corruption.

Corrupt transactions with agents.

Corruptly procuring withdrawal of tenders.

Bribery of member of public body.

Punishment for offences under section 2, 3, 4 or 5.

When penalty to be imposed in addition to other punishment.

Principal may recover amount of secret gift.

Acceptor of gratification to be guilty notwithstanding that purpose not carried out, etc.

Presumption of corruption in certain cases.

Evidence of pecuniary sources or property.

Evidence of accomplice.

Special powers of investigation of Director of Public Prosecutions.

Court to restrict disposal of assets or bank accounts of accused, etc.

Payment of compensation out of resources of convicted person.

Director of Public Prosecution’s powers to order inspection of documents.

Orders of search and seizure.

Obligation to give information.

Obstruction of search, etc.

Director of Public Prosecution’s powers to obtain information.

Evidence and defence of custom.

Duty to arrest.

Protection of informers.

Penalty for giving false information.

Disqualification.

Protection of persons acting in pursuance of the Act.

Invalidity of appointment as bar to prosecution.

Prosecution of offences.

Appointment of special investigators.

Exercise of powers, etc. of Director of Public Prosecutions by his or her deputy.
Jurisdiction to try offences.
Minister’s power to amend Schedule.

Schedule

Schedule Currency point.

CHAPTER 121

THE PREVENTION OF CORRUPTION ACT.

Commencement: 12 June, 1970.

An Act to provide for the more effectual prevention of corruption. 1. Interpretation.

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—

“agent” means any person employed by or acting for another, and includes a trustee, administrator and executor, and a person employed in the public service or under any corporation or public body, and for the purposes of section 5 includes a subcontractor and any person employed by or acting for the subcontractor;

“currency point” has the value specified in the Schedule to this Act;

“gratification” includes— (i) money or any gift, loan, fee, reward, commission, valuable

security or other property or interest in property of any description, whether movable or immovable;

(ii) any office, employment or contract;

(iii) any payment, release, discharge or liquidation of any loan, obligation or other liability, whether in whole or in part;

(iv) any other service, favour, or advantage of any description, including protection from any penalty or disability incurred or apprehended or from any action or proceedings of a disciplinary or penal nature, whether or not already instituted, and including the exercise or the forbearance from the exercise of any right or any official power or duty; and

(v) any offer, undertaking or promise of any gratification within the meaning of paragraphs (a), (b), (c) and (d);

“principal” includes an employer, a beneficiary under a trust, and a trust estate as though it were a person and any person beneficially interested in the estate of a deceased person as though the estate were a person and in the case of a person employed in the public service or a public body includes the Government or the public body, as the case may be;

“public body” includes the Government, any department, services

or undertaking of the Government, the East African Community, its institutions and corporations, the Cabinet, Parliament, any court, district administration, a district council and any committee thereof, an urban authority, a municipal council and any committee of any such council, any corporation, committee, board, commission or similar body whether corporate or incorporate established by an Act of Parliament for the purposes of any written law relating to the public health or public undertakings of public utility, education or for promotion of sports, literature, science, arts or any other purpose for the benefit of the public or any section of the public to administer funds or property belonging to or granted by the Government or the East African Community, its institutions or its corporations or money raised by public subscription, rates, taxes, cess or charges in pursuance of any written law, any political party, a trade union, any society registered under the Cooperative Societies Act and any council, board, committee or society established by an Act of Parliament for the benefit, regulation and control of any profession; (f) “special investigator” means a person appointed under section 29.

2. Corruption.

Any person who shall, by himself or herself or by or in conjunction with any other person—

corruptly solicit or receive, or agree to receive for himself or herself, or for any other person; or

corruptly give, promise or offer to any person whether for the benefit of that person or of another person,
any gratification as an inducement to, or reward for, or otherwise on account of any member, officer or servant of a public body doing or forbearing to do anything in respect of any matter or transaction, actual or proposed, in which that public body is concerned, commits an offence.

3. Corrupt transactions with agents.

If—

(a) any agent corruptly accepts or obtains, or agrees to accept or attempts to obtain, from any person, for himself or herself or for any other person, any gratification as an inducement or reward for doing or forbearing to do, or for having done or forborne to

do, any act in relation to his or her principal’s affairs or business, or for showing or forbearing to show favour or disfavour to any person in relation to his or her principal’s affairs or business;

any person corruptly gives or agrees to give or offers any gratification to any agent as an inducement or reward for doing or forbearing to do, or for having done or forborne to do any act in relation to his or her principal’s affairs or business, or for showing or forbearing to show favour or disfavour to any person in relation to his or her principal’s affairs or business; or

any person knowingly gives to an agent, or if an agent knowingly uses, with intent to deceive his or her principal, any receipt, account or other document in respect of which the principal is interested, and which contains any statement which is false or erroneous or defective in any material particular, and which to his or her knowledge is intended to mislead the principal,
he or she commits an offence.

4. Corruptly procuring withdrawal of tenders.

A person—

who, with intent to obtain from any public body a contract for performing any work, providing any service, doing anything or supplying any article, material or substance, offers any gratification to any person who has made a tender for the contract, as an inducement or a reward for his or her withdrawing the tender; or

who solicits or accepts any gratification as an inducement or reward for his or her withdrawing a tender made by him or her for such contract,
commits an offence.

5. Bribery of member of public body.

A person—

(a) who offers any gratification to any member of a public body as an inducement or reward for—

(i) the member’s voting or abstaining from voting at any
meeting of that public body in favour of or against any
measure, resolution or question submitted to that public
body;
(ii) the member’s performing, or abstaining from performing,
or his or her aid in procuring, expediting, delaying,
hindering or preventing the performance of, any official

act; or (iii) the member’s aid in procuring or preventing the passing of

any vote or the granting of any contract or advantage in

favour of any person; or (b) who, being such member as is referred to in paragraph (a) of this section, solicits or accepts any gratification as an inducement or reward for any such act, or any such abstaining, as is referred to in subparagraphs (i), (ii) and (iii) of that paragraph, commits an offence.

6. Punishment for offences under section 2, 3, 4 or 5.

A person convicted of an offence under section 2, 3, 4 or 5 is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years or to a fine not exceeding three hundred currency points or to both.

Notwithstanding subsection (1), a person convicted of an offence under section 2 or 3 is, where the matter or transaction in relation to which the offence was committed was a contract or a proposal for a contract with any public body or a subcontract to execute any work comprised in such a contract, liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding twelve years or to a fine not exceeding three hundred and fifty currency points or to both.

7. When penalty to be imposed in addition to other punishment.

Where a court convicts any person of an offence committed by the acceptance of any gratification in contravention of any provision of this Act, then, if that gratification is a sum of money or if the value of that gratification can be assessed, the court shall, in addition to imposing on that person any other punishment, order him or her to pay as a penalty, within such time as may be specified in the order, a sum which is equal to the amount of the gratification or is, in the opinion of the court, the value of that gratification, and any such penalty shall be recoverable as a fine.

8. Principal may recover amount of secret gift.

(1) Where any gratification has, in contravention of this Act, been given by any person to an agent, the principal may recover as a civil debt the amount or the money value of the gratification either from the agent or from
the person who gave the gratification to the agent, and no conviction or acquittal of the accused person in respect of an offence under this Act shall operate as a bar to proceedings for the recovery of the amount or money value.

(2) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to prejudice or affect any right which any principal may have under any written law or rule of law to recover from his or her agent any money or property.

9. Acceptor of gratification to be guilty notwithstanding that purpose
not carried out, etc.

Where, in any proceedings against any agent for any offence under section 3(a), it is proved that he or she corruptly accepted, obtained or agreed to accept or attempted to obtain any gratification having reason to believe or suspect that the gratification was offered as an inducement or reward for his or her doing or forbearing to do any act or for showing or forbearing to show any favour or disfavour to any person in relation to his or her principal’s affairs or business, he or she commits an offence under that section notwithstanding that he or she did not have the power, right or opportunity so to do, show or forbear or that he or she accepted the gratification without intending so to do, show or forbear or that he or she did not in fact so do, show or forbear or that the act, favour or disfavour was not in relation to his or her principal’s affairs or business.

Where, in any proceedings against any person for any offence under section 3(b), it is proved that he or she corruptly gave, agreed to give or offered any gratification to any agent as an inducement or reward for doing or forbearing to do any act or for showing or forbearing to show any favour or disfavour to any person having reason to believe or suspect that the agent had the power, right or opportunity so to do, show or forbear and that the act, favour or disfavour was in relation to his or her principal’s affairs or business, he or she commits an offence under that section notwithstanding that the agent had no power, right or opportunity or that the act, favour or disfavour was not in relation to his or her principal’s affairs or business.

10. Presumption of corruption in certain cases.

Where, in any proceedings against a person for an offence under section 2 or 3, it is proved that any gratification has been paid or given to or received by a person employed by a public body, by or from a person or agent of a person
who has or seeks to have any dealing with any public body, the gratification shall be deemed to have been paid or given and received corruptly as an inducement or reward as hereinbefore mentioned unless the contrary is proved.

11. Evidence of pecuniary sources or property.

In any trial by a court of an offence under this Act, the fact that an accused person is in possession, for which he or she cannot satisfactorily account, of pecuniary resources or property disproportionate to his or her known sources of income, or that he or she had, at or about the time of the alleged offence, obtained an accretion of his or her pecuniary resources or property for which he or she cannot satisfactorily account, may be proved and may be taken into consideration by the court as corroborating the testimony of any witness in the trial or inquiry that the accused person accepted or obtained or agreed to accept or attempted to obtain any gratification and as showing that the gratification was accepted or obtained or agreed to be accepted or attempted to be obtained corruptly as an inducement or reward.

An accused person shall, for the purposes of subsection (1), be deemed to be in possession of resources or property or to have obtained an accretion to resources or property where the resources or property are held or the accretion is obtained by any other person whom, having regard to his or her relationship to the accused person or to any other circumstances, there is reason to believe to be holding the resources or property or to have obtained the accretion in trust for or on behalf of the accused person or as a gift from the accused person.

12. Evidence of accomplice.

Notwithstanding any rule of practice or written law to the contrary, no witness in any trial by a court of an offence under this Act shall be regarded by the court as being unworthy of credit by reason only of any payment or delivery by him or her or on his or her behalf of any gratification to an agent or member of a public body.

13. Special powers of investigation of Director of Public Prosecutions.

(1) Notwithstanding anything in any other law contained, the Director of Public Prosecutions, if satisfied that there are reasonable grounds
for suspecting that an offence under this Act has been committed by any person, may by order authorise any police officer of or above the rank of assistant superintendent named in the order or any special investigator so named to investigate any bank account, share account or purchase account of that person and such authority shall be sufficient warrant for the production of such accounts and documents as may be required for scrutiny by the officer so authorised.

(2) Any person who fails to disclose such information to a person so authorised commits an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or to a fine not exceeding ninety currency points or to both.

14. Court to restrict disposal of assets or bank accounts of accused, etc.

Any court may, upon application by the Director of Public Prosecutions, issue an order placing such restrictions as appear to the court to be reasonable, on the operation of any bank account of the accused person or a person suspected of having committed an offence or any person associated with such an offence or on the disposal of any property of the accused person, the suspected person or a person associated with the offence or the suspected person for the purpose of ensuring the payment of compensation to any victim of the offence or otherwise for the purpose of preventing the dissipation of any monies or other property derived from or related to an offence under this Act.

Any restriction imposed under subsection (1) on the operation of the bank account of a person shall be limited to such amount as is necessary to compensate the victim of the offence or an amount not exceeding the amount involved in the commission of the offence whichever is the higher; and any money in the account in excess of that amount shall continue to be at the disposal of the person to whom the order under subsection (1) relates.

The order imposing restriction shall be reviewed by the court every six months if still in force.

The order shall, unless earlier revoked, expire six months after the death of the person against whom it was made.

The Director of Public Prosecutions shall ensure that any order issued by a court under subsection (1) is served on the banker, or accused
person or suspected person and any other person to whom the order relates.

(6) Any person who knowingly fails to comply with an order issued under this section commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding one hundred and fifty currency points or imprisonment not exceeding five years or both.

15. Payment of compensation out of resources of convicted person.

Where it is proved to the satisfaction of the court that a principal whose agent has been convicted of an offence under this Act has suffered loss as a result of the commission of the offence, then the court may order any sums standing to the credit of the convicted person or any property which the court is satisfied was acquired directly from any gratification obtained by the agent to be applied in making good the loss; and in the case of property which is not money, the court may order the sale of the property and the proceeds of sale paid to the principal.

Any monies remaining from the proceeds of sale of property after payment to the principal of any loss under subsection (1) shall be refunded to the convicted person.

Any transfer of any property contrary to any restriction imposed under section 14 is void and, in particular, the court may by order set aside any transaction aimed at defeating the purposes of subsection (1).

Any person who obstructs the implementation of the order of a court under subsection (1) or (3) commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding one hundred and fifty currency points or imprisonment not exceeding five years or both.

16. Director of Public Prosecution’s powers to order inspection of
documents.

The Director of Public Prosecutions may, if he or she considers that any evidence of the commission of an offence under this Act by a person employed by a public body is likely to be found in any documents relating to that person, his or her spouse or child or to a person reasonably believed by the Director of Public Prosecutions to be a trustee or agent for the person, by order authorise any police officer of or above the rank of assistant superintendent named in the order or any special investigator so named to
inspect any such documents; and a police officer or special investigator so authorised may, at all reasonable times, enter the place specified in the order and inspect such documents kept in that place and may take copies of any such documents.

17. Orders of search and seizure.

Whenever it is shown to a chief magistrate, a magistrate grade I or to the Director of Public Prosecutions upon information and after such inquiry as he or she thinks necessary that there is reasonable cause to believe that in any place there is any document containing any evidence of the commission of an offence under this Act, the magistrate or the Director of Public Prosecutions may, by warrant directed to any police officer, or special investigator, empower that officer or investigator to enter the place by force if necessary and there to search for, seize and detain any such document.

Whenever it appears to any police officer not below the rank of inspector that there is reasonable cause to believe that in any place there is concealed or deposited any document containing evidence of the commission of an offence under this Act and the police officer has reasonable grounds for believing that by reason of the delay in obtaining a search warrant the object of the search is likely to be frustrated, he or she may exercise in and in respect of such place all the powers mentioned in subsection (1) in as full and ample a manner as if he or she were empowered to do so by warrant issued under that subsection.

Where any person in or about any place that is searched under subsection (1) or (2) is reasonably suspected of concealing about his or her person any document for which search should be made, that person may be searched and any document so found may be seized and detained; but whenever it is necessary to cause a woman to be searched, the search shall be made by another woman.

For the purposes of subsection (1), the information mentioned in that subsection shall only be acted upon if—

when made to a chief magistrate or a magistrate grade I, it is made on oath; and

when made to the Director of Public Prosecutions, it is given by affidavit.
18. Obligation to give information.

Every person required by a police officer or special investigator to give any information on any subject which it is the police officer’s or investigator’s duty to inquire into under this Act and which it is in his or her power to give shall be legally bound to give that information.

19. Obstruction of search, etc.

Any person who—

refuses any police officer or special investigator, authorised to enter or search, access to any place;

assaults, obstructs, hinders or delays any police officer or special investigator in effecting any entrance which he or she is entitled to effect under this Act, or in the execution of any duty imposed or power conferred by this Act;

fails to comply with any lawful demands of a police officer or special investigator in the execution of his or her duty under this Act; or

refuses or neglects to give a police officer or special investigator any information which may reasonably be required of him or her and which he or she has it in his or her power to give,
commits an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or to a fine not exceeding ninety currency points or to both.

20. Director of Public Prosecution’s powers to obtain information.

(1) In the course of any investigation or proceedings into or relating to an offence by any person employed by any public body under this Act, the Director of Public Prosecutions may, notwithstanding anything in any other written law to the contrary, by written notice—

require that person to furnish a sworn statement in writing enumerating all movable or immovable property belonging to or possessed by the person and by the spouse, sons and daughters of the person, and specifying the date on which each of the properties enumerated was acquired whether by way of purchase, gift, bequest, inheritance or otherwise;

require that person to furnish a sworn statement in writing of any money or other property sent out of Uganda by him or her during such period as may be specified in the notice;

require any other person to furnish a sworn statement in writing enumerating all movable or immovable property belonging to or possessed by that person where the Director of Public Prosecutions has reasonable grounds to believe that the information can assist the investigation;

require the regional commissioner of income tax to furnish, as specified in the notice, all information available to him or her relating to the affairs of any person where the Director of Public Prosecutions has reasonable grounds to believe that the information can assist the investigation and to produce or furnish, as specified in the notice, any document or a certified copy of any document relating to that person which is in his or her possession or under his or her control;

require the Minister responsible for any department, office or establishment of the Government, or the president, chairperson, manager or chief executive officer of any other public body or the secretary, manager or principal officer of any company or association or body of persons whether incorporated or not, or a partner in any partnership to produce or furnish, as specified in the notice, any document or a certified copy of any document which is in his or her possession or under his or her control; or

require the manager of any bank to give copies of the accounts of that person or of the spouse or son or daughter of that person at the bank.

Every person to whom a notice is sent by the Director of Public Prosecutions under subsection (1) shall, notwithstanding any written law or any oath of secrecy to the contrary, comply with the terms of that notice within such time as may be specified in the notice and any person who willfully neglects or fails so to comply commits an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or to a fine not exceeding ninety currency points or to both.

The Director of Public Prosecutions may, in the course of any investigation into or relating to an offence under this Act, invite any person who has given a sworn statement under subsection (1)(a) or (b) to give an explanation or amplification of that statement, if he or she considers that it is necessary or desirable so to do.

(4) In any prosecution for an offence under this Act, the sworn statement of any person given under subsection (1)(a) or (b) may be used in
evidence against him or her.

21. Evidence and defence of custom.

In any civil proceeding under this Act, evidence shall not be admissible to show that any such gratification as is mentioned in this Act is customary in any profession, trade, vocation or calling or in the course of any particular business transaction.

It shall not be a defence to any offence under this Act to establish that any such gratification as is mentioned in this Act is customary in any profession, trade, vocation or calling, or in the course of any particular business transaction.

22. Duty to arrest.

A person employed by a public body to whom any gratification is corruptly given or offered shall arrest the person who gives or offers the gratification to him or her and take over the person so arrested to the nearest police station; and if he or she fails to do so without reasonable excuse, he or she commits an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to a fine not exceeding sixty currency points or to both.

23. Protection of informers.

Except as hereafter provided, no complaint as to an offence under this Act shall be admitted in evidence in any civil or criminal proceeding, and no witness shall be obliged or permitted to disclose the name or address of any informer, or state any matter which might lead to his or her discovery.

If any books, documents or papers which are in evidence or liable to inspection in any civil or criminal proceeding contain any entry in which any informer is named or described or which might lead to his or her discovery, the court before which the proceeding is heard, shall cause all such passages to be concealed from view or to be obliterated so far as is necessary to protect the informer from discovery, but no further.

If on a trial for any offence under this Act, the court, after full inquiry into the case, is of opinion that the informer wilfully made in his or her complaint a material statement which he or she knew or believed to be
false or did not believe to be true, or if in any other proceeding the court is of the opinion that justice cannot be fully done between the parties to the proceeding without the discovery of the informer, the court may require the production of the original complaint, if in writing, and permit inquiry and require full disclosure concerning the informer.

(4) Subsection (1) shall not have effect where a prosecution is instituted against any person for an offence under section 22.

24. Penalty for giving false information.

Any person who gives any information which he or she knows or believes to be false, intending by giving it to cause, or knowing it to be likely that he or she will by giving it cause, an investigation or prosecution to be commenced under this Act, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or to a fine not exceeding fifty currency points or to both.

Where a court convicts any person of an offence under this section, the court shall order the offender to pay such sum by way of compensation to the person in respect of whom an investigation or prosecution under this Act was commenced as in the opinion of the court is just, having regard to all the circumstances, and any such order shall be deemed to be a decree and may be executed in the manner provided by the Civil Procedure Act.

Nothing in this section shall prevent proceedings to recover damages by any person being instituted in a civil court, but at the time of awarding damages in any subsequent civil suit relating to the same matter, the court shall take into consideration any sum paid or recovered as compensation awarded under subsection (2).

25. Disqualification.

Every person who is convicted of any offence under section 2, 3, 4 or 5 shall become disqualified for ten years from the date of his or her conviction from holding any office in or under a public body.

26. Protection of persons acting in pursuance of the Act.

No act, matter or thing done or omitted by any person authorised by this Act
to perform any duty or exercise any function shall, if the act, matter or thing was done or omitted in good faith, render the person personally liable to any action, liability, claim or demand.

27. Invalidity of appointment as bar to prosecution.

A person shall not be exempt from prosecution under this Act by reason of the invalidity of his or her appointment, nomination or election to his or her office.

28. Prosecution of offences.

A prosecution under this Act shall not be instituted except by or with the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions; but a person charged with such an offence may be arrested, or a warrant for his or her arrest may be issued and executed, and the person may be remanded in custody or on bail, notwithstanding that the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions to the institution of a prosecution for the offence has not been obtained, but no further or other proceedings shall be taken until that consent has been obtained.

29. Appointment of special investigators.

Whenever the Director of Public Prosecutions considers it desirable for the purposes of any investigation under this Act, he or she may recommend the appointment of any person who is, in his or her opinion, possessed of any necessary special skill or experience, to be a special investigator.

A special investigator shall be appointed in accordance with any written law relating to the appointment of persons to the public service.

A certificate signed by the Director of Public Prosecutions shall be issued to a special investigator and shall be evidence of his or her appointment for the purposes of this Act.

30. Exercise of powers, etc. of Director of Public Prosecutions by his or
her deputy.

Any power, duty or function conferred or imposed by this Act on the Director of Public Prosecutions may be exercised or performed by the
Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions.
31. Jurisdiction to try offences.
Jurisdiction to try an offence under this Act shall only be exercised by—

the High Court; or

a magistrate’s court presided over by a chief magistrate.

32. Minister’s power to amend Schedule.

The Minister responsible for justice may, by statutory instrument, with the approval of the Cabinet, amend the Schedule to this Act.

Schedule.

s. 1.

Currency point.

A currency point is equal to twenty thousand Uganda shillings.

History: Act 8/1970; Act 4/1998.

Cross References

Civil Procedure Act, Cap. 71. Cooperative Societies Act, Cap. 112.