Malawi President should declare assets, I will when elected – Katsonga

People’s Progressive Movement (PPM) president Mark Katsonga Phiri who has declared his ambitions to run for presidency in 2014 elections, says he will declare his assets.

President Joyce Banda has been under pressure from civil society groups to declare her wealth, three months after she assumed the office of the presidency after the death of Bingu wa Mutharika in April.

Katsonga called on the Banda regime to make sure the Assets Declaration Bill that was drafted many years ago is debated in Parliament and passed into law.

He said the current situation has left some public officers to accumulate wealth through dubious means since they know there is no law that mandates authorities to probe them how they acquired their assets.

Katsonga: I will respect the laws and declare my assets

Katsonga said it could have made sense if President Banda declared her assets after ascending to the presidency, saying the aim of the law calling for assets declaration was to curtail self-enrichment of public officers through illicit means.

“I have got so many businesses which are well registered and I promise Malawians that I tend to differ from this greedy syndrome . I will give Malawians all what they deserve if given a chance to lead the country,” said Katsonga.

Katsonga is a business magnet and Group Chairperson of AXA buses, Ampex Limited, AGMA Trading, Golden Estate and AGMA Motors. He is also one of the founders of the 15 amalgamated political parties formed to fight against the bad governance of the Bingu administration.

According to Attorney General Ralph Kasambara, President Banda will not declare her assets because she did that soon after she was elected as the country’s vice president.

“There is no reason for her to declare her assets now because she was a member of the cabinet that was sworn in 2009. The [Republican] Constitution, Section 88 (A) is very clear on this that the president or the vice president shall declare their assets within three months of being elected or appointed,” Kasambara who also doubles as Minister of Justice is on record saying.

Kasambara said the same applies to deputy ministers, saying they declare their assets soon after they are appointed deputy ministers but do not declare their assets when they are promoted to be full ministers.

“This is all covered, some people are just being emotional without looking at the law,” said Kasambara.

But President Banda said she is ready to declare her assets again if that is what the law requires.

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