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Members of Parliament throng assets office

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Members of Parliament (MPs) who were recently exposed as not to have updated their assets, liabilities and business interests for 2016/17 financial year on Tuesday started going to the Office of the Director of Public Officers’ Declaration, to submit their declaration forms.

Some of the MPs are said to have started phoning Assets Declaration office on Sunday and some on Monday—which was a public holiday—to get declaration forms.

But Deputy Director of Public Officers’ Declaration, Michael Chiusiwa, only confirmed that MPs went to his office on Tuesday to submit declaration forms.

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“The MPs are coming. Looking at how they have been submitting the forms, I think all the remaining MPs will finish submitting their declaration by Friday,” Chiusiwa said.

He did not however give the names of the MPs who had submitted their declarations. He said Tuesday morning only, five MPs had submitted the forms but he expected the number of the MPs to increase by close of business yesterday.

Two weeks ago, it was revealed that 28 MPs had not yet updated their assets and liabilities, and business interests before the number was further reduced to 15 by Friday.

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According to the assets law, public officers are supposed to update records of their assets each financial year. The period of making the updates is between July 1 and 31 every year.

Section 18 (1) of Assets Declaration Act states that a listed public officer “who, without reasonable cause, fails to submit the required declaration within the time determined by this Act shall, subject to the Constitution and any other written law, be liable to be dismissed from the public office.”

Chiusiwa said those submitting late, will be require to explain what made them submit their declaration late.

Meanwhile, the Directorate has said from Monday last week it started verifying the compliance by public officers with requirements of Assets Act of 2013.

“Officers from the Directorate will visit and obtain personnel data from government ministries, department and agencies, including political and elected officials. This will subsequently assist the directorate in establishing and providing guidance to public institutions on public officers who are required to declare against non-listed public officers at institutional levels,” reads a statement from the Directorate.

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