The Director of Public Declarations of Assets and LiabilitiesChritopher Tukula has written President Peter Mutharika to fire one Cabinet minister and has also asked Speaker of National Assembly Richard Msowoya to declare vacant seats of some six members of parliament for fialing failure to declare their assets as required by law.
Minister of Civic Education Grace Obama Chiumia and members of parliament George Chaponda, Willard Gwengwe, Denis Kadzinja, Christopher Mzomera Ngwira and Henry Shaba refused to declare their assets for unknown reasons.
The assets law was designed to curb worsening corruption in government. The Cashgate scandal exposed in 2013 when K24 billion was stolen from government, is an example of how public offices can be used for self-enrichment.
The assets director Tukula said the law provides that if public officers fail to declare their assets, they should be fired from their offices.
“The declaration of assets exercise is an annual event, these public officers failed to comply with the law during the 2017 financial year,” said Tukula.
Mutharika and Msowoya are yet to comment on the matter as there are less than six months before the next general election scheduled in May.
Tukula said this was a political category, saying there are many other public officers in other categories who face the chop from the public service for their failure to declare their assets as provided for by the law.
He also said this was a civil case, saying this was why the punishment was dismissal from the public office.
Failing to declare assets is a criminal offence punishable by two years’ imprisonment.Section 15 (e) of the assets law obliges public office holders, their immediate family members and associates to declare their full financial status by disclosing details such as bank accounts, the location of the accounts and names of the banking institutions.
The section also requires full disclosure of any other asset the official or any member of his or her immediate family has financed, owns in any other name other than his or her own and description of the asset, its location, date of acquisition, amount paid for the asset, its current valuation, and name or names in which the asset is held or owned.
Nothing to declare
According to published report confirmed by Director of Public Declarations of Assets and Liabilities, four ministers—Joseph Mwanamvekha (Agriculture), Atupele Muluzi (Health), Goodall Gondwe (Finance), simply responded “Not Applicable” on the declaration form, implying they had nothing to declare in the period while the law asks them to declare their income and its source and the status of their bank accounts.
lInformation Minister Nicholas Dausi declared 2 000 bags of 50 kg maize.
Education Minister Bright Msaka declared one motor vehicle a Mercedes worth K5 million.
Foreign Affairs Minister Emmanuel Fabiano declared a lost plot No. MC 22 in Zomba, a new wholesale shop at Mbulumbudzi Trading Centre in Chiradzulu and 20 head of cattle.
Labour Minister Francis Kasaila declared a 1.5 tonne Toyota Dyna pick up valued at K5 million, K25 million from Alice Civil Engineering and K12 million from sale of soya beans and maize.
Minister of Gender and Disability Jean Kalilani declared she bought two plots in Mponela at K10 million and K7 million, a few clothing and suitcase, processing to sell a 4X4 Nissan and buy a new vehicle, helping needy students with school fees and support items amounting to K750 000 per term and planning to buy and sell soya.
Local Government and Rural Development Minister Kondwani Nankhumwa declared one maize mill, a dwelling house under construction, land at Mulanje Boma and a Toyota Prado.
Henry Mussa declared massive construction projects in Area 10 in Lilongwe and plots in Mangochi and furniture.
Jappie Mhangodeclared purchasing a Mercedes Benz, Toyota Raum and a Ranger but did not indicate the cost of each vehicle.
Samuel Tembenu declared purchasing property at Senga Bay in Salima valued at K215 million.
Deputy Minister Clement Mukumbwa declared awaiting payment of K80 million for Unicef projects in Chitipa and Karonga for constructing pit latrines and K2.5 million from sale of a vehicle.
Anna Kachikho declared a Toyota Vitz 2006 at K3 million and a Toyota Prado.
There was not much detail from other ministers; some members such as Cecilia Chazama declared registering new companies and two vehicles which she lost in road accidents while Aggrey Massi had nothing to declare.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :