By Confidente Reporter
PERMANENT Secretaries have declared their assets to Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, Confidente has learnt.
Kuugongelwa-Amadhila told Confidente, Tuesday that the Prime Minister’s Office had received asset declarations from all the Permanent Secretaries.
“Yes we have received asset declarations from the Permanent Secretaries,” she said.
Kuugongelwa-Amadhila also revealed that her office had after receiving the asset declarations conducted its own investigations to establish whether what the Permanent Secretaries had stated was the truth or not.
“We have done our own investigations to establish whether what they declared to us is the truth or not and whether there is conflict of interest or not,” she said. The declaration of assets by Permanent Secretaries was made compulsory last year after Government announced that a revised system for civil servants to declare their assets under the Public Service Act will be gazetted. At the time the Prime Minister also said that Parliament was busy revising a system for members of Parliament to declare their assets, while the requirement for civil servants to declare their business interests was also being revised and improved. Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said it was important for civil servants to declare their assets explaining that it can help prevent abuse of power and reduce corruption in Government. She also said that the President has led the process by voluntarily declaring his assets. However, legislators in the National Assembly have not done so, save for the Minister of Finance, Calle Schlettwein who has made public his assets.
The assets register for parliamentarians will be made public in January next year. The register will indicate what assets Members of Parliament own and what businesses they are involved in. Asset declaration is a constitutional requirement aimed at preventing Members of Parliament from advancing their interests at the expense of the public. Last year National Assembly speaker Prof Peter Katjavivi told Confidente that the assets and interests declaration exercise will be an annual undertaking, preferably at the end of every financial year so as to enable the concerned office to have an updated status of the entire Parliament. Last year MPs were given till end of June to publicly reveal what they own, however, that was postponed to end of September, but when end of September came the declaration was postponed to end of October but nothing materialised. In January this year Katjavivi said the assets register would be made available end of June, however, nothing happened and he later extended the deadline to end July cautioning that action would be undertaken against members who failed to comply as provided for under the Committee on Privileges and in terms of the Code of Conduct. MPs are expected to declare their stake in trading companies, national companies, credit institutions, economic groups as well as membership in associations, foundations or other non-governmental organisations where they have to state the names of the firms, position held, and number of shares as well as total value of shares.
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