78 Percent Declare Assets, 20 LPOs Verified in Malawi - ODPOD
A preliminary annual assessment report has indicated that 78 percent of the Listed Public Officers (LPOs) have declared their assets, with the low grade officers as the most defaulters.
Director for the Office of Director of Public Officer's Declarations (ODPOD), Michael Chiusiwa, says the assessment shows that politicians, senior government officials are the most compliant while others such as, accountants and procurement officers form 22 percent of defaulters.
"In terms of compliance, for this period we have around 78 percent compliance. What it means therefore is that about 22 percent of the public officers have defaulted," Chiusiwa said.
Chiusiwa also disclosed that now the directorate has processed and physically verified assets for 20 public officers, owing to under-staffing at the institution currently with 21 employees.
"On the number of employees, we are on the lower side. We don't have the optimal numbers of the officers who are required to perform the duties according to law. All of that we are 21. We are yet to request the government to recruit more officers", he added.
Meanwhile, Centre for Social Accountability and Transparency (CSAT) executive director, Willy Kambwandira, says there is need for seriousness on matter because corruption starts when officers are reluctant to declare their assets and has called on the government to resource the institution.
Kambwandira indicated the law is clear that the non-compliant need to been removed from the public office or prosecuted.
"This only tells us that the whole issue about asset declaration is just a mere talk. There is no genuine commitment to ensure full implementation of the law. The law is very clear if one fails to declare their assets without reasonable cause, they need to be removed from office and the institution's Director has to commence a criminal case against such officers" he said.
After being tabled in the next Parliament sitting, the directorate will publish all the officers including the non-compliant in the gazette by name, then legal consequences shall follow.
According to ODPOD, the country has over 11, 000 Listed Public Officers in 208 public institutions.