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Parliament summons 95 over assets

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Joyce Chitsulo

Parliament has summoned 30 legislators and 65 Ward Councillors who have not declared their assets.

Public Appointments Committee chairperson Joyce Chitsulo confirmed to Malawi News that the process will begin next week.

“I can confirm that we have summoned the members of Parliament who defaulted declaration of assets and 65 councillors, including a police officer who failed to declare assets as required by law,” she said.

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Office of the Director of Public Officers Declarations (ODPOD) Director Michel Chiusiwa recently presented a case to parliamentary monitoring committee, at a meeting aimed at reviewing operations of the Directorate.

He said some listed officers also omitted some assets in their declarations, which was laid bare during physical verification of assets.

Last week, the parliamentary monitoring committee said they have embarked on law review to address some grey areas in the act that establishes the office.

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The law promotes public confidence in the public service through curbing of corrupt practices by making sure all public officers declare their assets and business interests.

While applauding the committee, Centre for Social Accountability and Transparency Executive Director Willy Kambwandira asked the committee to declare vacant seats of Parliamentarians and councillors who have failed to comply with the requirements of the asset declaration law.

“We appreciate efforts taken by the parliamentary monitoring committee on the matter. We are however greatly concerned that the committee is reactive and not proactive. Our position is that all listed public officers, including MPs, who have failed to declare the assets without reasonable cause as required by law, should be dismissed from holding a public office. Section 14 of the Act requires that every listed public officer declare their assets three months after assuming their duties, and it is now over two years after these MPs and councillors assumed office. We expect the committee to take appropriate sanctions against these errant MPs and councillors,” he said.

He also asked Parliament to make public names of all Parliamentarians and councillors who failed to declare their assets as required by the law.

ODPOD was set up in 2013 to help control massive plunder of public funds after revelations of cashgate at Capital Hill.

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