Friday, December 13, 2019

UDC’s Tshere declares his interests

The Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) Member of Parliament for Mahalapye West, David Tshere, has publicly declared his interests before Parliament last Thursday.

The first UDC opposition legislator revealed his three months notice with a health company to which he owns a 50% shareholding.

“Another issue I will like to touch on is about the declaration of assets and liabilities and I will like to declare my interest with your permission Mr Speaker that I am a shareholder on a Dognaf health company on 50% basis,” revealed Tshere.

“I am currently serving a 3 months notice to concentrate my legislation duties to avoid incidents of conflict of interest.”

“I would like to work amicably with Mr Kwape on matters around health issues. Mine is not about money but a national duty,” he maintained responding to the President’s State of Nation Address.

The former Minister of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration Nonofo Molefhi tabled the much awaited Declaration of Assets and Liability Bill during the last sitting of Parliament.

The objective of the Bill was to provide certain category of persons to make declaration of their assets and liabilities and those of their dependent children.

The Act provides for the submissions declarations to the Director General(of Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC), Speaker of the National Assembly, Permanent Secretary to the President, Permanent Secretaries and such other officers as may be prescribed.

The Act further makes provisions for submission of all declarations to the DCEC for safety custody of all declarations. The Bill also provides for offences, penalties and the power to make regulations.

In his maiden Presidential speech in April 2018, President Mokgweetsi Masisi promised the nation to bring-forth the law before the end of this year. 

“I will do my utmost to continually grow confidence in and of governance through a combination of new legislation, ethical codes and demonstrable and efficacious behaviours. To this end, expect specific legislation on declaration of assets and liabilities soon”, Masisi said in April 2018.  Masisi said at the time the Bill is also aimed at rooting out corruption.

He later told the 15th National Business Conference that the proposed law would target politicians and senior public officials.

The President said it was evident that some in the private sector also facilitated corruption by corrupting public officers.

He said the law would improve investor confidence and enhance transparency and accountability.

Recently there were concerns among some sections of the society that the bill will remain a pipe dream. Reports indicate that former minister Joy Phumaphi first tabled a proposal for a bill on Declaration of Assets and Liabilities.

Reports also show that there has been three more sessions of parliament since Masisi took over power and the government continues to play delaying tactics when it comes to the proposed Bill.

But this week Molefhi delivered on his promises as he published the Bill in the latest edition of the Government Gazette.  Former Gaborone Central Member of Parliament Dumelang Saleshando tabled a motion in favour of the Bill during the 10 Parliament, early 2014 in the wake of a string of allegations of corruption that implicated senior government officials under former President Ian Khama’s administration.

The proposed bill would require government officials and heads of parastatals to declare their assets and liabilities upon assuming office in order to combat corruption. The bill was debated in parliament but was never signed by the President into law.

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