The Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet of the Republic of Zimbabwe has issued a communique to the effect that Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Permanent Secretaries and Directors within ministries are now required to declare their wealth and financial and business interests.
CEO’s of parastatals, Chairpersons of commissions and heads of local authorities are among those that are now required to make this declaration in writing. All the affected have been asked to comply by the 28th of February this year. The communique does not say whether the President himself and his deputies will be making the same declaration or even the Chief Secretary.
What is not mentioned is whether the public will have access to the lists so declared. This may be tricky because there could then be deliberate sabotage but that is just a risk and isn’t it worth taking? Maybe the parliament could have access to this list on behalf of the citizenry.
Instead of viewing maybe the public may be asked to submit asserts that they know to be owned by public officers. This can be done online and the submissions by the public could be immediately checked against the declared lists. Any discrepancies can then be investigated.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa did say he knew those that had ‘externalised’ funds and that he was prepared to name and shame them as well as prosecute them should they not bring back such funds into the country. Maybe this is preparation to do this. Anyhow, here is the letter from Dr Misheck Sibanda:
PRESS STATEMENT BY THE CHIEF SECRETARY TO THE PRESIDENT AND CABINET., DR. M.J.M. SIBANDA ON THE MANDATORY DECLARATION OF ASSETS BY SENIOR PUBLIC SERVICE OFFICERS
It will be recalled that in his inaugural address on 242′ November 2017, His Excellency the President made an undertaking to create a responsible, transparent and accountable Public Service Workforce that is sworn to high moral standards and deserved rewards. Over the ensuing period, the President has consistently called for strict adherence to the fundamental tenets of good corporate governance.
In line with the new thrust, it has become mandatory for all Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Heads of Ministries, Senior Principal Directors, Board Chairpersons and Board Members of State Enterprises and Parastatals, Chief Executive Officers of State Enterprises, all Chairpersons and Members of Constitutional Commissions (both Executive and Independent), and Chief Executives of Local Authorities to submit a written declaration of their assets.
The Declaration of Assets document should contain the following information
• details of all immovable property owned by the Public Servant, or those in which he/she has an interest;
• any item of closable property, exceeding one hundred thousand dollars (US$100 000.00) in yakes owned or leased by the individual concerned or in which he or she has any other interest; and
• any business in which the individual has an interest in and/or in which he or she plays a part in running. The nature of the interest in the property or business concerned should be dearly stated.
The Declaration of Assets documents should be submitted under sealed, envelope to the undersigned by not later than 28th February, 2018. Heads of Ministries are hereby directed to coordinate the collection, and submission of all declarations in respect of designated grades within their Ministries, as well as in Public entities, and Constitutional bodies under their purview.
The President expects the full and urgent cooperation of all affected office bearers in responding to this directive.
Dr MJM Sibanda
CHIEF SECRETARY TO THE PRESIDENT AND CABINET
Harare, 23 January 2018