Saturday, September 19, 2020

BOCCIM pushes for declaration of assets and liabilities

MAUN ÔÇô The Botswana Confederation of Commerce Industry and Manpower (BOCCIM) has resolved to ‘propose’ to government to consider enacting a law that will make it mandatory for executive members of government and legislatures to declare their assets and liabilities.

The resolution was agreed after one of the presenters at the just ended National Business Conference, Tymon Katholo, told both government executives and business leaders about a gap analysis of the difference between international best practices and Botswana existing laws with regard to corruption.

Katholo, who is the managing director of Tyedo Investments, said that in order for Botswana to win the battle against corruption, there was need to address the issue of impunity which produced secrecy thus resulting in corrupt practices.

The former Director of the Directorate of Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) said that there was need to come up with declaration of assets act and leadership code of conduct which would basically focus on the values and principles for managing public resources.

At the end of the conference attendants of the bi-annual national business conference then agreed to draft the declaration of assets and liabilities as part of their resolutions.
The BOCCIM resolution follows a study by Afro Barometer in 2012 which revealed that a considerable number of citizens are in support of a law on declaration of assets and liabilities by the country’s politicians and top government officials.

Out of the 1200 Batswana interviewed by the Afro Barometer team, over 50 percent of those interviewed expressed support for declaration of assets and liabilities by cabinet ministers. The respondents prefer a disclosure of assets and liabilities to an independent body instead of the President as is currently the case.

From the study, 64 percent were in support of the law on asset declaration being extended to sitting Members of Parliament, heads of Parastatals and senior government officials.

Previously the former Member of Parliament for Gaborone Central and leader of Botswana Congress Party, Dumelang Saleshando, had highlighted that having leaders declare their assets and giving the public full access to the information would go a long way in insuring accountability. On why he thinks there is the delay in tabling the bills, the Gaborone West legislator said that it could be that they are hiding something from the public. The motion asking for declaration of assets by political leaders was first tabled by former Francistown Member of Parliament for Francistown Joy Phumaphi more than 10 years ago.

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