At least 32 members of Parliament risk their seats being declared vacant after failing to state their assets as required by law.
Office of Directorate of Public Officers Declarations (ODPOD) director Michael Chiusiwa told the Parliamentary Monitoring Committee in Salima on Saturday that 65 councillors have also not declared their assets in the 2019/2020 financial year.
“As an institution, we are following up with the members. We have accordingly written them to get the reasons behind their failure to declare their assets within the time as stipulated by laws.
“We are waiting to hear from them before we take the next course of action. Within the Cabinet, we have 100 percent annual declaration which is very encouraging,” he said.
Chiusiwa said since the law is clear on anyone who does not declare assets within the stipulated time, consequences will follow.
“They are supposed to give reasons for failure and if they are not as prescribed by laws, then sanctions follow. One of the consequences for non-declaration for no reasonable course is removal from office. For members of Parliament, their removal is by way of asking the Speaker to declare their seats vacant,” he added.
The director also bemoaned the meagre resources allocated to the office in the 2020/2021 National Budget.
Parliamentary Monitoring Committee chairperson Joyce Chitsulo said it is unfortunate that lawmakers are among defaulters of a critical process in as far as public service is concerned.