Malawi President Banda sticks to her guns: Won’t declare assets

Malawi President Joyce Banda has again challenged critics that she will not declare her assets, insisting that that she is not contravening any known law.

The President has been urged by opposition parties, civil society organisations and some citizens to honour Section 88 of the Malawi Constitution.

Recently, Consumer Association of Malawi (Cama) presented a petition after their peaceful demonstrations in which they demanded the President to declare her assets within 21 days.

President Banda: Not declaring personal wealth

President Banda: Not declaring personal wealth

But speaking in an interview with Voice of America radio monitored by Nyasa Times on Tuesday, President Banda maintained that she already declared her personal wealth before becoming the vice president as required by the country’s constitution.

“[My lawyers say] that because I am the president of this country, I am going to be victimized if I declare my assets every month or when it suits any groups of people. That is not in the law,” she said.

“When I exit the officie this country must hold me accountable for what I have accured,” she said.

“ I have said to anybody to come and check what I have. For me I must follow the law,” Banda added.

Section 88 sub section (3) of Malawi constitution compels the president, and members of the cabinet to declare their assets when they have been ushered into office.

The section reads; “The president and members of the cabinet shall …….. within three months from the date of election or appointment, as the case may be, fully disclose all of their assets, liabilities and business interests,  and those of their spouses, held by them or on their behalf as at the date ; and, unless Parliament otherwise prescribes by an act of Parliament, such disclosure shall be made in a written document delivered to the Speaker of the National Assembly who shall immediately upon receipt deposit the document with such public office as may be specified in the Standing Orders of parliament”.

Until the death of professor Bingu wa Mutharika on April 7 2012, Joyce Banda was vice president of Malawi, elected during the May 2009 presidential and parliamentary elections where she stood as a running mate to the late Mutharika on DPP banner.

Other commentators still argue that the President should declare her assets to instill confidence in the people she is ruling and as a matter of transparency.

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