MITUKI: Wealth declaration powerful corruption prevention tool

In Summary
  • Wealth declaration also helps monitor public officers’ wealth so as to detect illegitimate enrichment and conflicts of interests as they serve.
  • It is a criminal offence to fail to submit a declaration or make a false declaration punishable by imprisonment and hefty fines as outlined in Section 32 of the Public Officer Ethics Act.
Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission CEO Twalib Mbarak.
Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission CEO Twalib Mbarak.
Image: FILE

There are three types of declarations: An initial declaration, made by a public officer within 30 days of joining the service. The biennial declaration, made every two years by a public officer while in service. And the final declaration, made by a public officer within 30 days of exiting the service.

Wealth declaration is a requirement for all persons joining the public office in accordance with Sections 26 and 27 of the Public Officer Ethics Act.

The Act prescribes the making of financial declarations of incomes, assets and liabilities, commonly referred to as DIALs, by every public officer.

There are three types of declarations: An initial declaration, made by a public officer within 30 days of joining the service. The biennial declaration, made every two years by a public officer while in service. And the final declaration, made by a public officer within 30 days of exiting the service.

Wealth declaration is a powerful tool for corruption prevention among public officers the world over.

Generally, the principle of wealth declaration in the public sector is anchored on the need by governments to protect their resources from corrupt officials and the need for transparency and accountability by public officials as they hold their positions in trust.

Wealth declaration also helps monitor public officers’ wealth so as to detect illegitimate enrichment and conflicts of interests as they serve.

We have several matters in our courts of public and state officers who cannot explain the sources of their wealth, or whose wealth is disproportionate to their known legitimate sources of income.

When this happens, institutions mandated to recover corruptly acquired assets and unexplained wealth usually institute such recoveries.

It is a criminal offence to fail to submit a declaration or make a false declaration punishable by imprisonment and hefty fines as outlined in Section 32 of the Public Officer Ethics Act.

Therefore, if you got elected during the August 9 General Election, make your initial declaration as the law dictates and ensure you capture the wealth of your spouse(s), even if they are also in public service and your children below 18 years.

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