CSAT Gives Parley Committees 7 Days to Disclose Officers Yet to Declare Assets
Center for Social Accountability and Transparency-CSAT has given the public appointments committee of parliament and the parliamentary monitoring committee 7 days to publicly disclose the names of public officers and members of Parliament who have defied the law by failing to declare their assets
CSAT through a statement signed by its Executive Director Willy Kambwandira says they are aware that 95 public officers, 30 members of Parliament, and 65 ward councilors are yet to declare their assets contrary to the law on public officers declaration of assets, liabilities, and business interests act.
"Your committee should decisively deal with the matter by taking appropriate sanctions against these offices as stipulated by the law and liaise with the Speaker
of the National Assembly to make an urgent determination on this matter including dismissal of these errant public officers from public office," reads part of the statement.
The Center also wants the committees to liaise with the Speaker to refer names of all listed public officers under the act who have failed to declare their assets without reasonable cause to the Director of Public Prosecution to commerce criminal proceedings against these public officers without remorse.
Kambwandira said failure to disclose assets at the start of work as a public officer according to the dictates of the law leaves room for corruption as evidenced by public officers in the previous regime who amassed a lot of questionable worth during their stay in office.
The center also wants the committees to ensure transparency in handling cases involving all listed public officers who have failed to declare their assets without reasonable cause.
However, Chairperson for the public appointments committee and monitoring committee of Parliament Joyce Chitsulo says releasing the names now would be premature as they are still consulting on the matter.
"We have received the letter from CSAT calling for disclosure of the names of the officers who are yet to declare their assets but as a committee, we have also consulted the secretariat on how we can proceed on the matter," said Chitsulo.
Chitsulo however said it is her opinion that it would be premature to release the names now as the committee has been engaging the concerned parliamentarians and councilors where some are showing evidence of having declared their assets either at district councils or at the office of assets declaration.
"But personally I feel it would be premature to release the names right now as we are engaging the concerned people and we will be releasing the report very soon so I think it would be premature to release the names," said Chitsulo.
As required by law public officers including MPs, ward councilors are supposed to declare their wealth before starting work as public officers.
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