Chairperson of Public Appointment Committee of Parliament( PAC) Joyce Chitsulo is in South Africa with top management from the Office of the Director of Public Officers Declarations (ODPOD) led by its Director Michael Chiusiwa and his Deputy Owen Munthali.
According to Chitsulo, the aim of the tour is to appreciate the best practices that can help in curbing corruption within government echelons of power by among other things seal the lacuna in the current Act of Declaration of Assets, Liabilities and Business Interests which many political and legal analysts say lacks “legal teeth” to pounce on all public officers who fail to duly declare their business and financial status accordingly.
Speaking to Malawi Voice from Durban, Chitsulo said South Africa is one of advanced countries in SADC when it comes to ethics and integrity that helps to enforce transparency and accountability in public service and that it uses advanced electronic and digital systems track matters of Assets and Liabilities unlike in our country.
“Our mission is to solely curb corruption and promote transparency, accountability and integrity at all levels in government and private institutions because most top people take advantage of the weak laws to get away with punishments, she said.
She further said the trip gives them a window to learn critical matters like the law, integrity and ethics and that parliament and members of the ODPOD are best to seek interventions on how curb corruption in the country through such interactions.
“As members of Parliament we are called to act on all times in accordance with law, public trust bestowed on us and discharge our constitutional oversight duties by rising above our interests,” Chitsulo emphasized.
Recently the OPDOP boss Chiusiwa lamented that his office is toothless when it comes to resources, manpower and that the law talks of scrutinizing hard copies with only 21 officers and it was proper that in the law, digitisation must be included.
According to the current law, the ODPOD is only sanctioned to gazette summary and not details of assets.
The seminar has been funded by UNDP Malawi and facilitated by Mr Itumeleng Mongale, Project Officer (Anti-corruption) based at UNODC Regional Office in RSA and coordinated by United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime