Mutharika declares  assets, Malawi govt seeks AG direction

President Peter Mutharika has declared his assets but has since sought advice from the Attorney General (AG) as to who is appropriate to handle his file while newly appointed Director of Public Officers Declaration (DPOD) is yet to start work, Nyasa Times understands.

The country’s Constitution Section 88 (a) gives elected President three months to declare their assets, liabilities and business interests. In this case Mutharika has up to September 2nd, 2014 to make the declaration.

Parliament last week appointed private practice lawyer, Christopher Tukula (DPOD) and Michael Chiusiwa as his deputy.

Their office will be responsible for receiving and verifying declarations of assets of public officers, including the President and members of Parliament (MPs).

Mutharika: Declares assets
Mutharika: Declares assets

Minister of Information, Kondwani Nankhumwa confirmed to Nyasa Times that government has sought AG’s advice on how to proceed with the President’s file of his wealth.

Nankhumwa said government would only make public Mutharika’s assets once it receives AG’s advise.

“Government is ready with the file but we are left in the dark as to whom we should hand the file since the officers have just been appointed and don’t have an office. We don’t know if they have been given letters of appointment yet,” said Nankhumwa.

AG Kalekeni Kaphale said he was currently outside the country and could not immediately comment.

“We are ready to comply with Attorney General’s guidance. If he says we should file it with the court or Parliament, we are willing to do so, and that is when we will be able to make the content public,” added Nankhumwa.

The opposition political parties and the Public Affairs Committee (PAC) have their eyes fixed to see Mutharika and other senior public officers to declare their assets in compliance with the law.

PAC’s Publicity Secretary, Father Peter Mlomole told local media his organization expects the officers to immediately declare their assets.

“We are happy that what we have been advocating for has seen the light of the day. Now we expect the newly appointed director of Public Officer’s Declaration Mr. Christopher Tukula to start immediately by the senior officers declaring their assets first, not only when in office but also when leaving the office,” Mlomole said.

Among his duties, Tukula would be tasked with annually gazetting names of officers who have declared their assets.

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