Mist over Malawi assets director suspension

Malawi government has interdicted Director of Public Officers’ Declarations Christopher Tukula , a move seen as  derailing the December 31 deadline for public officers to declare their wealth.

Tukula has been interdicted on half pay

Tukula has been interdicted on half pay

Tukula has been interdicted on half pay with effect from December 17 2014, “following his arrest” on 17th October, 2014 by Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) , Chief Secretary to the Government George Mkondiwa said.

Tukula in an interview with Nyasa Times on Monday said he learnt from the grape vine but  has not received any communication from parliament.

“I have heard the rumours of the interdiction but I have not yet received the letter,” said Tukula.

“ In the past week I have been in the field conducting asset declaration briefings with various public sector institutions and coordinating logistical arrangements in the run up to the December 31st deadline. I don’t know where the letter is coming from but I only expect it to come from Parliament because under the Asset Declaration Act, the appointing authority is the PAC  Public Appointments Committee) of Parliament and it’s the only authority empowered to confirm my suspension or removal,” Tukula, a lawyer by profession, told  Nyasa Times.

Under section 8 of the Public Officers (Declaration of Assets, Liabilities and business interests Act only the Committee can remove the Director although the President can recommend to PAC that the director be suspended and in that case he can only be suspended with the confirmation of PAC.

PAC chairman Lingston Belekanyama said the committe had  not met  to approve the interdiction of Tukula and the decision as far as the Act is concerned lacks legal backing.

The first ever Assets Declaration Director was arrested for allegedly interfering with investigations the on-going ‘cashgate’ cases and later released on bail.

Tukula’s interdiction puts in limbo the future of the newly-established office of the Director of Assets Declaration which was received with fanfare. His office was established to ensure that public officers, including the President, the Vice President, members of Parliament and senior public officers, declare their assets to check corruption.

The interdiction comes barely days to the deadline of December 31 2014 for all public officers that are listed to declare their assets.

President Mutharika, his deputy Saulos Chilima, cabinet minister and MPs were supposed to declare their assets within 90 days (three months) upon election or appointment. But since there was no director the deadline passed but Tukula extended it to December 31, 2014  and has since been receiving the declared assets for the public to scrutinise on demand.

Although Mutharika and Chilima have said they have already declared their assets, the public has no way of inspecting the declared assets since effectively there is no director.

The idea behind the declaration of assets by elected or appointed officers is to check whether whatever assets they acquire while in office is commensurate to the perks of their offices.

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41 thoughts on “Mist over Malawi assets director suspension”

  1. Saini says:

    This is delaying the deadline but let us play the wait and see and we will be watching the time

  2. Mkhokhokhora says:

    Mmihavani u r the one who is ignorant bout the law.What day the Act say about suspension? Has that been followed?That’s the issue here.If not why and a big why? Akufuna kusokoneza basi.

  3. ALEKENI ANENE says:

    Ndamva kuti akuti watuma anthu ena kuti ambwezere ndalama za NAC zija si manyazi amenewo. Taziwabe kuti nanunso ndi mbava. Moti mukamalimbana ndi anzanuwo, mbava zokhazokha zikulimbana. Tikumana 2019,mwationjeza.

  4. ALEKENI ANENE says:

    Apa ndiye akutionjezatu nchonayu

  5. Dumisani says:

    Andalewa akudziwana.ayendana njomba pamenepa.wina wadya nyumba koma game yagona.game yosayamba iyi.tiye nazoni.

  6. Abiti Mtila says:

    Leave the handsome director alone alomwe inu

  7. Moya says:

    Ife timadziwa kuti palibe president amene angafune kuti ma assets ake a onedwe. Mumayesa masewera? Mukufuna mube kaye.Bola Joyce Banda anangokana yekha mwachilungamo kuti sationetsa. Koma Che Pitala kuchita Kuchotsa munthu mozembera parliament? Mutoopa chani mbwiye?

  8. Mmihavani says:

    You stupid ignorant Malawians. You are busy shamelessly exposing your ignorance here. Nobody is above the law. Tukula is answering criminal charges so let the law take its course. Lawyers of today especially those from Chancellor college are savages and criminals. The writer of this article says the declared assets cannot be viewed by the public in the absence of the director. That’s total rubbish and sheer ignorance on the part of the writer. The office has a deputy director who can perform those functions. And the writer is ignorant of procedures followed to scrutinise the assets. Please go back and read the Asset Declaration Act before you start writing rubbish.

  9. Thoko Thava says:

    I personally wouldn’t want him to continue work until he is cleared but why not follow what the Act says? Why cut corners? And why now?The timing is very wrong and has distracted the whole process.Ife tachalira tione ma assets a president apa.This will obviously derail the deadline and in the bigger picture there will be no integrity in the process.

  10. Jelbin mk says:

    Every suspect is deemed innocent until proven otherwise by a competent court of law so the government is in the wrong because they don’t have any backing point of interdicting Tukula. They just want to ran away freely from the law which requires them to be honest as far as just-wealth accumulation is concerned.

  11. mfumusinyasa says:

    Koma apa nde umbuli ukuikidwa pa mbalambanda. Ukuchita kudziwa wekha kuti awa bongo unapita ku holide. Mchigazamo munadzadza ink ya blue basi. Is it possible for a person to be reporting to two employing authorities. Meaning PAC only has powers to employ and Chief Sectetary has powers to interdict. My foot alomwe alomwe

  12. wafika says:

    we will observe the proceedings

  13. Namanyonyoro says:

    If u think it’s a coincidence that Tukula has been interdicted by an official who was not supposed to interdict him with 8 days to go u are naive .Tukula has been publishing stuff in the media and most of us were wondering why he was still in the job.Obviously the Chief Secretary and his crew saw the stuff but chose not to act.Now that the deadline is near people are making these knee jerp decisions thereby exposing their insecurities. This interdiction is aimed at derailing the process.Otherwise why not before? Why now?And this guy being a lawyer he will not take it lying down.I smell a big rat too.

  14. Chigawenga says:

    The president must be mad. He is taking Malawians for granted. You may fool us once but twice you become a fool yourself, We already know your game and if you don’t declare your assets we will conclude that you continue to swindle public resources and we will urge the donors not to support this corrupt government. We want transparency and accountability for all those in public office. If joining politics is a way to amass dubious wealth then lets go for tit-for tat. Malawi is our land and any corrupt leader must be taken out by any means necessary.Rotten apples have to be weined out!!!

  15. mulenga says:

    Chimbwete the MPSR can’t override an Act of Parliament.Tukula is governed by the assets Act and only PAC can discipline him.Procedures are there to avoid abuse.It is clear MKONDIWA has been ordered to effect this interdiction contrary to the rules and we will pay for this.Several cases on point.Why didn’t Govt follow the rules? Why Cut corners? It’s just about derailing the deadline otherwise why did they let the guy work for over 2 months?I attended a briefing about assets declaration at Pacific Hotel and this guy knows the stuff no winder he clinched the job.He was answering every question with composure eloquence and undoubted intelligence for such a young age.He made a very good presentation with his deputy.They said there will be no extension beyond 31st.No wonder some people don’t like him.Samagenda mtengo opanda zipatso.This is very bad! The motive for this smurks of sabotage.

  16. Kamdondo says:

    MOSEVMUJA MUKUMUIMITSA NTCHITO LERO. UMBANDA UWU.
    MUTIUZE ZA K92 BILLION.

  17. Alfred Newmann says:

    Methinks corruption has become our way of life with no endgame in sight.

  18. Weniweni Balakasa says:

    why Tukula alone? The police chief boss also needs to be suspended as he is part and parcel of Chasowa’s death cause.

  19. Kalanga says:

    Fear of unknown! You have decided to fire hm so that u dont declare assets. Zoopsya izi abale.

    By bng arrested, does it mean he was convicted!

  20. mulenga says:

    Yes interdict him but follow procedures.Most of these cases that Govt loses its because of not following procedures.Can Chief Secretary interdict someone appointed by Parliament?Really? Why did Parliament appoint him only to be subject to disciplinary action by another official? This sounds very irregular!

  21. Nyamayaphwitsa Chimbwete says:

    In fact the interdiction is long over due. This guy ought to have been suspended immediately following his arrest.

    Let’s all remember that the overarching legislation government civil service administration is the Malawi Public Service Regulations.

    Whether Belekanyama or Mkondiwa signs the letter is of no consequence.

  22. mbwiye says:

    Ombudsman chizumila was arrested she is still in the job. kachikuwo was arrested why didn’t MKONDIWA interdict them? It’s becoz they have different reporting procedures.Not everyone can be interdicted by chief secretary.this position is under parliament.dont interfere.

  23. mulenga says:

    The issue is why are procedures there?You can’t interdict people contrary to what the law says mapeto ake akapita ku Court akaluze tax payers money down the drain.so what’s there to applaud about a faulty procedure that can cost Govt money? And why has it taken 2 months to interdict him just so close to the deadline? Will this Govt ever do things right?There is more to this issue.

  24. Kamphenda says:

    THAT IS MALAWI…NO ARGUMENT

  25. IDRIS says:

    don’t worry countrymen, Mutharika and his boys will reverse this decision. Remember ACB closure ? Lets wait for senseless confusion to settle down. Mutharika must increase perks for his advisers for their huge task of defending his state of fusion.

  26. aphiri says:

    Kulibe zimenezo Tukula uyambile kupanga scrutinize peter ndi calista.hehehe zilikuno

  27. So U Mean Somebody Answering Criminal Charges Should Continue Holding Government Office? Don’t Politicise Everything Let’s Unite And Work Together For The Benefit Of Mother Malawi

    1. o says:

      My friend dziko la mbuli ili. It’s a very pathetic national with pathetic people with pathetic thinking.

  28. Alufeyo says:

    PAC is a body made of fools. Tukula was arresyedvand charged on 17th October and PAC just ignored the matter. Actually PAC and Roosevelt Gondwe the Acting Clerk of Parliament refused to take responsibility for interdicting Tukula arguing that it was not their duty. So why is Belekanyama daying its illegal. Bravo to Mkondiwa for doing it.

  29. Thoko Thava says:

    I am a staunch DPP supporter but this thing will just dent our image needlessly when we are in the middle of several other critical problems like strikes and budgetary deficit.When we made this law during Joyce Banda era we as DPP in Parliament wanted independence in handling this office because it’s easy to manipulate it.Now we are in the fore front flouting procedures sidelining the appointing authority.Let PAC handle this issue as a matter of principle.Am not amused.Who is advising our President in DPP?

    1. Angel of Doom says:

      Are you saying we should be turning a blind eye to wrong things just because we are in the middle of several other critical problems?

      If that is what you are saying, then by the same token, we should not arrest people because there are spaces in prison, also by the same token politicians should not declare their assets.

      Your argument is dangerous, you can not cherry pick what is and what is not priority. Who is to say what is important or not.

      A man of Tukulas position should not have involved himself in intimidating witnesses, Is that the sort of person we should be having in important offices?

  30. Mjomba says:

    The timing for this thing and the jumping of PAC in the decision is very suspicious here.Why are you in a rush?If this was urgent why didnt you suspend him soon after his arrest?You cant to be in a rush now and jump procedures.Why the haste with days to the deadline?There is a rotten rat here and its smelling loud and clear!

  31. KING SOLOMONS WISDOM says:

    DELAYIN TACTICKS?.AM NATURALY SKEPTICAL WITH POLITICIANS.

  32. LETS WAIT THE BOAT IS STILL SAILING, NOT YET LANDED.

  33. Alungwana says:

    They want to have more time and steal more from our taxes

  34. Chirambo says:

    Izi ndiye zachamba alomwe inu.Nthawi yonseyi munali kuti? We want to see Peter’s Declarations in 10 days time ife.Mukuopa 92 billion?And Why is PAC not aware of the interdiction? Koma boma ili kodi lilibe ma advisor? Ife mung otionetsa ma declaration a Peter musanamuchotse otherwise!

  35. Mhango says:

    Am not surprised at all.Why now? I have always said it only a Government that has high integrity can implement this.With 9 days to go the process is now derailed.Tukula said the Assets will be available for inspection after 31st December.It means this will no longer be possible.Mukuopa chani?and Why has PAC been sidelined?More tax payer money will be spent to compensate this guy for breach of clear rules.This country?

  36. a-e-i-o-u says:

    “Thyolo man,” I can understand you. You being from Thyolo, like the mbuzi-president we have, you indeed enjoy buffoonery. Hahahaha.

  37. Angel of Doom says:

    Come on Malawians, don’t try to turn this on its head and point fingers at government. Is it governments fault that everywhere you look in Malawi there is a crook, and most of them have respectable papers, so one would think.

    It is very difficult in Malawi to appoint a person that would be clean.What has Tukula been doing all this time? In any case if a public officer has been arrested, they should not be allowed into a public office. Too many thieves in this country masquerading as honest people.

  38. Thyolo man says:

    That’s the DPP I know. Koma akulu akulu Bright Malopa ndamusowa. Do some actions man. You are now quiet. We enjoy your moves

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