Malawi former president Bakili Muluzi is not a listed officer under a new declaration of assets law to make public what he owns, Director of Public Officers’ Declarations (DPOD) Christopher Tukula has explained.
President Peter Mutharika, his deputy Saulos Chilima, former president Joyce Banda, Speaker of Parliament Richard Msowoya and leader of opposition Lazarous Chakwera have made their assets public in accordance with the country’s constitution.
Muluzi the country’s first democratically elected President who governed from 1994 to 2004 has had his assets not declared.
“Former president Bakili Muluzi is not a listed officer under the new Act,” Tukula explained.
Asked why immediate past former president Joyce Banda has declared her wealth, Tukula said: “Joyce Banda has not declared as a former state president but as a leader of a party currently represented in parliament.
“She is the only leader of a party represented in parliament (Peoples Party) who is not an MP or Minister. She has not declared in another listed capacity either as MP ( Enock Chihana president of Aford) or as minister (Atupele Muluzi of UDF).”
Tukula said from now all Presidents, Ministers, MPs and all listed officers will be declaring their assets three months be leaving office to provide for the citizenry to question the leaders (when leaving the office) to account for the wealth that they have managed to accumulate while they were in office.
Critics say it is very difficult to prove the authenticity of the declarations; whether they are accurate or simply exaggerated in order to accommodate for subsequent corrupt practices.
Politicians have the choice to declare what they want and what not to and put whatever values they want to put on their declared assets.
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 with the perks of their offices.