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Only 50 percent declare assets as July 30 deadline approaches

Only 50 percent of public officers mandated by law to declare their assets have not yet done so just less than a week before the expiry of the deadline for the declaration of the assets.

In an interview Tuesday, Assets Declaration Director, Christopher Tukula, said it is a trend for people to declare their assets on the last day, on July 30.

The declaration of assets by public officials including political figures will close on Sunday, July 30, 2017 and Tukula said just over 5,000 of the 10,800 public officers have fulfilled the Republican Constitutional requirement.

Public officers who are required to declare their assets fall in three categories. He said political category includes the president, Vice President, members of Parliament (MPs), Cabinet ministers and local government councillors.

The second category comprises senior public officers including principal secretaries, heads of various government institutions, heads of parastatal organisations and constitutional bodies. The third category, he said, involves people in positions that are prone to fraud and mismanagement of funds including traffic officers, immigration officers and everyone working at the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA).

“From experience, people submit their declarations late. In some cases, we have had queues building up at our office on the last day but I am confident that by 31 July, we are going to receive the declarations. Research has also shown that we did not do enough sensitisation, so we enhanced sensitisation and after which, we can take people to task,” Tukula said.

He said his office will publish, in October, a list of public officers that have complied with the requirements of the law as well as the list of public officers that have failed to declare.

Tukula said failure to declare assets attracts sanctions such as dismissal from employment or loss of political positions.

The law requires that every listed public officer should update a declaration within the first 30 days of the financial year which ends June, in case there is an increase or decrease in their assets.

Last year, 28 MPs defaulted as they submitted their declarations late.

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