MPs, councillors default on assets declaration
By Rebecca Chimjeka
The Office of the Director of Public Officers Declarations ODPOD has disclosed that 32 members of Parliament and 65 councillors did not declare their assets in the previous year.
This is according to a presentation which Office of the Director of Public Officers Declarations ODPOD made to Parliamentary Monitoring Committee The meeting was aimed at reviewing operations of the Directorate.
“I can confirm that over 30 members of Parliament and 65 councillors did not declare their assets in the previous year,” said Michael Chiusiwa, Director for ODPOD.
Chiusiwa said they have embarked on law review to address some grey areas in the act that establishes the office.According to Chiusiwa some listed officers also omitted some assets in their declarations which was laid bare during physical verification of the assets.
Chairperson of the Monitoring Committee of Parliament Joyce Chitsulo said they will follow-up on the issue of MPs and councillors not declaring their assets.
“We will follow up with the Parliamentary secretariat regarding the matter, and we will also follow up with the councils,” Chitsulo said.
The Office of Director of Public Officers Declarations was set up in 2013 with the mission to “promote public confidence in the public service by receiving, verifying and publicising public officers declarations and educating the public on the declaration system.”
The act which led to the establishment of the ODPOD was meant to provide legal framework for the implementation of the Constitution which requires the President, vice president, cabinet ministers, Members of Parliament and other prescribed public officers to declare their assets and business interests upon assuming office.
Malawi has 193 Members of Parliament and over 450 ward councilors.