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28 members of parliament yet to declare assets

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The Directorate of Assets Declaration has revealed that 28 Members of Parliament out of the 193 legislators are yet to declare their assets.

Assets Director, Christopher Tukula, said the delay, which he said is common among MPs, forces the directorate to start pursuing the public officers individually.

“In Parliament, currently, we have a default of 28 members who have not yet submitted their annual updates. The law requires that every listed public officer should update their declarations the first 30 days of the financial year in case there is an increase or decrease in their assets,” he said.

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Tukula said the 28 members who did not declare are required to give proper reasons.

“There is need for the defaulting Members of Parliament to explain to the directorate the reasons why they did not submit their declarations. Those who will not have valid excuse will be taken to task. The range of penalties include dismissal from public service or those that are in political positions can lose their seats and if convicted, they can be imprisoned for two years,” he said

Commenting on the four cabinet ministers who did not submit their declarations, Tukula said his office is yet to scrutinise their reasons of delay.

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“Currently, on the four ministers that did not submit their declarations at the last time of count have submitted their declarations but the law requires that they should submit timely. We want them to explain the exact reasons for the delay,” he said.

He further said the law prohibits late submission.

“The law says anyone who submits declarations late is committing an offence, hence we need to be sure that there was reasonable excuse why they submitted late,’’ Tukula said.

Chairperson of Public Appointment and Monitoring C ommittee, Lingson Belekanyama, said his committee will ensure that the members declare by the end of this year.

“We want that by the end of this year the Members of Parliament who have not yet declared their assets should do so. So far, 62 percent have declared and 32 per cent have not declared yet and we have advised them that they should make sure that these people should declare their assets,” Belekanyama said.

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