Tukula warns of bloated assets declarations, says ‘physical check’ next

The Office of the Director of Public Officers’ Declarations (DPOD) has warned that those that might have doctored assets in their declarations will have to face the long arm of the law as physical verifications are expected to be done soon.

Tukula:  Assets database can be accessed

Tukula: Assets database can be accessed

DPOD Christopher Tukula unleashed the warning Friday amid speculations from some commentators that some public officers’ – whose assets have been made public – bloated their wealth.

“As an office we will have to verify to check whether or not the assets the officers declared reflects what is on the ground,” said Tukula. “If one, for example, said it cost them K10 million to build a house and yet it turns out that it was more or less than that that will be considered as fraudulent and is punishable by law.”

Tukula said that the offence attracts a minimum sentence of two years plus a fine of up to K500 000.

He repeatedly warned those that “underestimated or overestimated” when declaring their wealth.

Some of the officers whose wealth is now known include President Peter Mutharika, his predecessor Joyce Banda, vice president Saulos Chilima, leader of opposition Lazarus Chakwera and Speaker of the National Assembly Richard Msowoya.

Mutharika’s declaration of wealth fits him in the bracket of the country’s billionaires. Details indicate that he has a couple of bank accounts in and outside the country that hold close to K4 billion cash.

The President, who declared his wealth in July last year, has over US$8 million (about K3.4 billion) in two banks which he holds in the United State of America (USA) where he spent most of his working life.

But some commentators have since reacted to Mutharika’s declared wealth as not adding up.

Malawian writer and social analyst Stanley Onjezani Kenani wondered whether Mutharika was transparent enough.

“Professor Peter Mutharika,” Kenani wrote on his Facebook page, “retired from the law faculty effective July 1, 2011 according to the Washington University’s website. He was under pension scheme 403b. On average, a professor under the 403b scheme gets pension of $40,000 (K16 million) a year.”

He questioned: “So where, exactly, did Mutharika get the $25 million he used to buy one of the cars? And where did he get the hundreds of millions of Malawi Kwacha he has splashed on cars in the last five years? Is he honest? Is he telling our nation the truth?”

Late Pres Bingu wa Mutharika, who died suddenly of cardiac arrest in 2012, had in May 2004 declared his wealth to be around K150 million.  However, in an assessment of his estate after his death valued his wealth at K61 billion, a figure his family disputes.

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Chikumbutso Mkumbila
Guest

Zoona Malawi Ufulu tinaumvetsa tha’s why Malawi sakulemeraaaa angwazi anali bwino koma anafa ndi mbiri yoipa akazapezeka ngati Hastings ngawzi Kamuzu Banda Malawi adzatukuka otherwise tidzingosafala ndi mbava zilipozi enawa akutchula kuchuluka kwachuma pomwe alibe akudalira ikamatha nthawi yawo azakhale atapeza chuma chomwe akuchitchulacho nanunso amene mukuyendetsa kaundula wachumanu muonetsetse kuti sakupatseni nchele cholinga mutseke pakamwa. Malawi tikufuna pomachoka amene alipowa tizamve kuti zasintha osati kumangoti amene atalowe kuba nawonso amayiwa nde anatilowa mkabudula sichina UFULU MALAWI ndiumene ukutipangitsa kukhala dziko losauka .

100% Lohmwe
Guest

Onsewa akunama,mbava zokhazokha izi..anthu osakonda dziko lawo nde choncho Malawi atukuka bwanji? Inunso okafufuza please pakhale chilungamo komanso lamulo ligwire ntchito..Tionera inu

Yosefe Gambatula
Guest
Amalawi being headed by mbava ali phee busy clapping hands for thieves.I have said now and then that Malawi do not have politicians but thieves but to rip off poor Malawians of their hard earned taxes and the people who do donkey work die in poverty.This mbyofo mbyofo a wealth is very questionable taking from how his demented brother mercilessly looted Malawi within a short period of time to become a billionaire.His greed never took him anywhere as never even slept a wink from a Casablanca manor he built from looted funds.Peters wealth is very questionable including JB the clueless… Read more »
Vavlov
Guest

Professors don’t earn lots of money, so this president is a liar, this money has been looted in Malawi. The truth will be known

ujeni
Guest

Peter Mutharika if indeed he has $8m in his bank account in the US, definitely its not from savings earned from his job. You can cheat some people but not everybody, some of us have relations who migrated to the US in the 70’s and having risen to be professors there but don’t agree with the nonsense Peter Mutharika is trying to fool Malawians.

sd
Guest

Malawians poverty spirit. Just koz u hav realised Muthalika is not ur size..uR hurt? Ufiti tho! Do ur own thngs!!u poor souls!poorest pple in wealth&brains the whole world

Teketeke Mcherewatha
Guest

I wonder why dogs spend most time barking than listen: It was said and I quote, Bingu’s wealth was valued at 24/25 billion but the valuer, a Mr. Yeremia Chihana, in collusion with then Min of Justice and AG R. Kasambara, bloated the amountfigure

chefourpence
Guest

the money is in his pensions accounts not from pensions.

Jihad John
Guest

Peter Muthalika should give us bank statements about the US$8 million he declared. Surely a lecturer at a university cannot earn that much money even if he won the Nobel Peace Prize of any kind. That is part of the much talked K92 billion. We have a thief at the top.

Wagona nkhule waliwa
Guest

My Comment is that though u can re-value their assets, and dig up the truth that they overstated or understated, l swear no one of them will be sent behind bars. l strongly object. Their wealth will set them free. You will eat my words. Laws were crafted for the poor and not the rich.

(Faanveek)

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