500 risk sanctions for failure to declare wealth
Government officials who failed to declare their wealth will be penalised.
Speaking to The Sunday Times, Jean Pierre Nkurunziza, the advisor to the Ombudsman, clarified that the watchdog has so far identified 474 public servants who failed to declare their wealth as required by law, and not 60 as earlier reported.
The move comes after the Ombudsman’s office had instructed government agencies to take action against some of their employees.
“The number went on increasing in the process of scrutinising, and the 474 have to be penalised based on recommendations from their respective institutions,” Nkurunziza said.
Civil servants are required to submit their income, assets and liabilities for verification by the Office of Ombudsman before 30th June every year. However, some officials failed to send in their wealth declaration forms even after the introduction of an online registration system despite persistent pleas from the Ombudsman’s office.
Over 8,000 public servants have to declare their wealth every year.
When contacted, Alex Ntagungira, the Director of Public Service and Management in the Ministry of Public Service and Labour, said the implicated officials will face the music.
“They will be penalised by the institutions they serve in and punishments will be in two phases. Some will get warning letters, reduction of salaries while phase two will involve a three month suspension and demotions,” he said.
So far, over 500 civil servants have already declared their wealth this year.
The 2006 wealth declaration law was passed to strengthen the fight against corruption through increased accountability and transparency.
The idea behind the declarations is that officials who amass wealth beyond what their earnings can justify should be investigated.
Contact email: fred.ndoli[at]newtimes.co.rw