Public Officers Declaration law should punish defaulters-Chilima

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By Earlene Chimoyo

 

Vice President Saulos Chilima, is advocating for a public assets declaration law that would outline clear penalties for noncomplying officers.

He was speaking during a meeting with Director of Public Officers Declarations as part of his ongoing engagements with various constitutional and governance bodies.

Chilima, who is also Public Sector Reforms Minister, emphasized that time has come for public officers to face punishment when they do not comply with the spirit of the amended legislation.

He has stressed that taking that route would be crucial in containing cases of abuse of office as well as mismanagement of public resources.

“There must be consequences if theft and abuse of public resources is to be dealt with in this country and the law must clearly support that,” he emphasized.

There have been concerns that some public officers deliberately do not declare their assets while others over-declare their wealth to cover the wealth that they acquire illegally.

“It was gratifying to note that there has been progress so far in ensuring direct data interface with other institutions such as Malawi Revenue Authority, Department of Road Traffic Services, National Registration Bureau among institutions in a bid to enhance verification and identification of red flags,” Chilima said.

In his brief, Director in the Public Officers Declarations Directorate, Michael Chiusiwa disclosed that the review and the amendment of legislation is one of the reforms being pursued to effectively improve service delivery.

According to Chilima, the team presented two reform areas with the first one aiming at migrating from manual declaration system to online declaration.

“The second reform focuses on reviewing and amending legislation to make the institution effective towards improved service delivery,” Chilima disclosed.

Declaration of assets is a legal requirement and non-compliance is a breach of the law hence Chilima’s call for offenders to face consequences.

 

 

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