The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has intensified the graft fight by requesting from the Office of the Director of Public Assets Declarations files of public officers suspected of indulging in corruption, it has been learnt.
The development comes as Parliament and Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development are also set to review the files which the office be submitting through annual reports by the office.
Asset director Christopher Tukula has confirmed both developments.
Speaking when his office met Parliament’s Monitoring Committee which has oversight to discuss the role of the committee under the new law, said ACB was the first investigation agency to utilise the office for information.
He said: “ACB has been coming to our office looking for information. We have over 10 000 declarations. Under the law, we are also supposed to refer assets to investigating agencies, but we are yet to do so because we are yet to reach that stage.”
However, Tukula, whose office was formed to help fight corruption in the public sector, also said the body has memorandum of understandings (MoU) with Reserve Bank of Malawi, Directorate of Road Traffic and Safety Services, Financial Intelligence Unit and others on interagency collaboration.
He bemoaned that while civil society and media have been in the forefront asking for access to declarations, the public has not utilised the provision of law that stipulates that they can apply to request assets.
Tukula said to date, all Cabinet and members of Parliament (MPs) have declared their assets and confirmed that his annual reports will see Parliament accessing the files.
Chairperson of Public Appointments Committee (PAC) of Parliament, Lingson Belekanyama, said the committee will ensure that it cooperates with other committees of Parliament such as legal affairs and budget and finance, to ensure that the mandate of the office is carried out.
Henry Chingaipe, a consultant who drilled the lawmakers on the operations of the law, said principally, the law says the office works for Parliament and not the Executive.
“The office is an agent of Parliament and exercises its powers as oversight on behalf of Parliament. By and large, the Executive is on the receiving end,” he said.