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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Saini
Guest

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

Mkhokhokhora
Guest

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.

ALEKENI ANENE
Guest

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.

ALEKENI ANENE
Guest

Apa ndiye akutionjezatu nchonayu

Dumisani
Guest

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

Abiti Mtila
Guest

Leave the handsome director alone alomwe inu

Moya
Guest

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?

Mmihavani
Guest
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… Read more »
Thoko Thava
Guest

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.

Jelbin mk
Guest

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.

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