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Most leaders’ wealth unknown

Discussion in 'Habari na Hoja mchanganyiko' started by BAK, Jan 5, 2011.

  1. BAK

    BAK JF-Expert Member

    Jan 5, 2011
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    By SEBASTIAN MRINDOKO, 4th January 2011

    OUT of the 4,346 political leaders who picked wealth declaration forms, 3,047 have not returned them, while 1,041 out of 4,064 of public servants who picked the forms, did not return them as of December 31 last year which was the deadline.

    Ethics Secretariat Commissioner, retired Judge Salome Kaganda told reporters on Tuesday in Dar es Salaam that the response of the leaders to the legal requirement was comparatively positive but urged those who were yet to return the forms to fulfil the obligation.

    “Integrity is a significant value to be observed by both political and government leaders in order to enhance public confidence and trust,” she said.

    Judge Kaganda noted that section 6 (a) of the Public Leadership Code of Ethics Act No 13 of 1995, states that, “in relation to ethical standards, that public leaders shall, while in office, act with honesty, compassion, sobriety, continence, and temperance and hold the highest possible ethical standards…..”

    Public and political leaders are obliged to declare their wealth before and after their term in office to avoid conflict of interests while performing various official duties. It is an offence for any leader refusing to fill the forms, because the law requires them to do so every year.

    She said it has been observed in the past that some leaders owning companies were involved in tendering processes and advocating for their own companies to win the tender without considering the capacity to efficiently undertake the projects, consequently most of the projects were of low standards.

    Some rural projects including roads, classrooms are substandard because some leaders have been advocating selfishness at the expense of national partisanship, adding: “Wherever ethics is lacking there is no development.”

    If the Commission doubts the authenticity of the wealth declared, it sends investigators to verify. After establishing the truth, the public leader is summoned to ethics council.

    Then a report is filed to the Ethics Commissioner who in turn submits a copy of the report to the president, speaker of the national assembly and the respective department for further disciplinary actions.

    In the past years, some national leaders had been reluctant to fill the forms, but this time around, the situation has been tightened.

    By December last year, there were a total of 7,880 both government and other national leaders including ministers, permanent secretaries, legislators, councillors, district and regional commissioners.

    She said plans are in place to propose to the government to enact a law that will give the secretariat the power to prosecute public and political leaders who will be found guilty of not abiding to the public leadership code of ethics.

    Mr Tixon Nzunda, the Secretary, Public Service Leaders, said 20 per cent of 80 complaints received in three years period were directly related to the negligence of some government and political leaders to fulfil their legal requirement of wealth declarations.

    “Measures have been taken by respective authorities against leaders who neglected legal obligation of wealth declaration,” he said.