Malawi President Peter Mutharika was forced to correct an amount which was indicated that he holds in a bank in the United States of America (USA) after hearing that a verification exercise would follow and realised that the figures might not tally with what he had declared, Public Appointments Committee (PAC) of Parliament chairperson Lingson Belekanyama has said.
Mutharika has to correct his wealth after it was publicised and Office of the Director of Public Officers Declaration said he actually holds $2 million (around K840 million) and not $8 million (around K3.4 billion) in the foreign account.
Office of the Director of Public Officers Declaration said it will verify the assets and that Mutharika tops the list of those that his office will target in the verification exercise.
Belekanyama said for fear of being caught out lying, Mutharika was forced to change the wealth information.
“Just like if I declared that I have four cars and before verification I have sold one, then I would rush to change what I declared before the exercise in order for it to be in line with what I actually have which is in line with the Act,” said Belekanyama as quoted in The Daily Times.
Assets director Christopher Tukula said every declared property is subject to verification, including foreign-held accounts and, in order to verify the President’s US account, they are going to use diplomatic protocols.
“All foreign held accounts, including that of the Head of State will be subject to that verification exercise; admittedly, it’s an exercise that requires a lot of money. At the moment, we are releasing this information so that whistleblowers that suspect something on the assets declared can come forward to help,” he said.
A legal expert and human rights activist, Justin Dzonzi, said there would be nothing wrong with correcting a genuine mistake as long as the correction ties with the actual bank statement.