Declared assets not ready for disclosure


Malawians wishing to know how much the country’s top public officers have declared as their assets may have to wait a little longer following revelations that the assets office is engaging in an intensive scrutiny of the declarations.

The office has closed receipt on initial declarations and is now sorting and filing the documents to determine who has and who has not submitted their declarations.

Director of Public Officers Declarations Christopher Tukula said in an interview Sunday that the declarations information will be compiled into a list that will be gazetted for public consumption and the end of the current financial year in July.


He also admitted that from the inquiries his office is getting, there is clearly more scrutiny and enthusiasm on the declarations by the top officials who include President Peter Mutharika, his vice Saulosi Chilima and cabinet ministers.

“But the consolidation will take a bit of time and we have started building the compliance list from top to bottom because there is more scrutiny on the top level officers. I can confirm that we are in possession of the declarations of virtually all the senior public officers who are specifically required to comply with the asset declaration requirement in the country,” said Tukula.

Apart from Mutharika, Chilima and the whole cabinet, other officers who have declared their assets include the Speaker of the National Assembly, the Chief Justice, the Attorney General, the Auditor General, and the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).


“The political and elected category has registered high compliance levels because politicians were already declaring assets and it was easy for them to understand the new regime. Most senior officers were also able to comply massively,” said Tukula.

He, however, reiterated that some public officers have not complied with the deadline because they were turned back after coming late without giving prior or convincing excuses for their failure to comply.

Tukula added that his office is now hoping for more funding from government to undertake one of the most critical functions under the act which is content verification.

“We have to verify the contents in order to give assurance to Malawians that the information declared is credible. Verifications will be done in phases based on seniority and risk. Obviously this involves recruitment of specialised staff and funding for operations which the government had promised to make available during the upcoming budget review,” said Tukula.

He added: “The other critical function is public access whereby members of the public will be able to apply to the directorate to access the declarations made by public officers, and we are working on a public access platform by duplicating all declarations for that purpose.”

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