Civil servants to declare assets?
The Directorate on Corruptionand Economic Crime(DCEC) wants a declarationof assets and liabilities for all governmentemployees. The declaration,as envisaged by the directorate,extends beyond Ministers, Membersof Parliament and high profi le offi -cers in the employ of governmentto those who are even doing menialjobs. The anti-corruption agency isof the view that declaration of assetscan assist them in investigating corruptionon any public servant.DCEC Public Relations Offi cer,Lentswe Motshoganetsi, said thelegislation on the declaration ofassets could be an effective tool infi ghting corruption.
He said peopleget to government offi ces with nothingbut in a month’s time they arewealthy. “Declaration of assets canmake it easier for us to come to anindividual and say account for whatyou have now. We are looking atevery public offi cer starting from alabourer to the most executive offi -cial,” he said.Motshoganetsi said even a laboureris susceptible to corruption addingthat junior employees can comeinto contact with inside informationfrom their work place and sellit to private individuals for money.“This law should not be meant forMinisters, MPs and executives only;everybody should declare their assets,”he emphasised.“We want every person who is ina public offi ce to declare their assets.
It will make things easier forus when we investigate because wewill know how much that particularperson was worth by the time theyassumed offi ce and what they areworth by the time they leave offi ce,”he argued further.Motshoganetsi noted that mostcorruption cases involve people inthe private industry and people ingovernment. He observed that theproposed Corruption and EconomicCrime Amendment Bill will allowthe DCEC to investigate any placewhere public money is used.“The DCEC will have the mandateto investigate any company,whether private or not, that will betendering in government.
We arealso investigating those who are inpossession of unexplained propertyor those who are living beyond theirmeans,” he said.The Secretary General of the Bo-tswana Land Boards, Local AuthoritiesHealth Workers Union(BLLAHWU), Ketlhalefi leMotshegwa said the DCEC hadalready failed to infl uence thelaw to pass. “What will DCECdo if the politician does notwant the law on the declarationof assets? Calling for labourersto declare their assets will be aburden to DCEC. They shouldbe updating us on how far theyare in trying to call for ministersand those in executive positionsto declare their assets,” he said.
Motshegwa believes that theroot cause of corruption is withpeople who are holding top positionsas there are the peoplewho infl uence and make decisionsand not labourers.University of Botswana PublicAdministration lecturer,Gladys Mokhawa supports theDCEC. Civil servants must declaretheir assets. They shoulddo so, so that everyone is motivatedto do so regardless ofwhether they are top, middleoffi cers or lower offi cers. Thephilosophy behind the declarationof assets is to ensure integrityin public offi ces,” she said