About 16000 public officers have declared their assets in the 2022/2023 financial year, the Office of the Director of Public Officers’ Declarations (ODPOD) has disclosed.
Speaking on the sidelines of a Declarations Orientation Workshop for Media Practitioners currently underway in Zomba, director of Public Officers’ Declarations Michael Chiusiwa said this shows an improvement as compared to the past.
However, Chiusiwa bemoaned loopholes in the Assets Declaration law in terms of effecting stated punishments which are; job dismissal if an officer fails to declare his/her assets or a two years imprisonment for making a false declaration.
“Our powers end at making recommendations, if somebody has not complied and we have made recommendations for dismissal and the relevant authority has not implemented that recommendation, we have no powers to proceed,” said Chiusiwa.
Following the change in government fiscal year, listed public officers were expected to submit their declaration forms between April 1 and 30, 2022.
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 at the beginning of every financial year.
The law seeks to promote integrity, transparency, accountability and rule of law.