Malawi President Joyce Banda has been asked to declare her assets by the most respected umbrella organisation for the major faith communities represented in the country , Public Affairs Committee (PAC) and two non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working on human rights.
Government however insists that President Banda already declared her assets and deposited with Parliament early this year.
PAC is then asking the President to let the public verify the declaration, especially with revelations that late president Bingu wa Mutharika had amassed wealth valued at K61 billion at the time of his death in 2012.
“PAC believes that there is nothing wrong in making something public since the issue is of public importance. In addition, you were able to take a new oath for the new office; therefore, it should not be a challenge for you to make a transparent declaration through Clerk of Parliament whom we are told is keeping your documents,” recommends PAC after meeting President Banda .
PAC publicity secretary, Rev. Fr. Peter Mulomole, who was also leader of delegation, confirmed that the issues raised with the President during their meeting on Thursday,
On Sunday the Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) and the Centre for the Development of People (Cedep) said in a statement that they supported the call by PAC and other NGOs for the President to declare her assets.
CHRR and Cedep said declaration of assets would not only help in curbing corruption, but will also attract direct foreign investments and improved public and donor confidence in the government.
The statement, co-signed by Timothy Mtambo of CHRR and Gift Trapence of Cedep, reads: “In addition, by declaring her assets public the President would be candidly showing her renewed commitment and political will towards combating corruption and abuse of power in the country.”
The Attorney General (AG) Anthony Kamanga recently gave a legal opinion to the Speaker of the National Assembly, advising him against revealing to the public details of the President’s wealth as earlier requested by the Malawi Law Society (MLS).
But the rights NGOs argued that that “public service is no place for the protection of privacy.”