Council adopts asset declaration policy

The Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) has applauded the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) for coming up with an Asset and Liabilities Declaration policy for councillors to declare their assets which it says will help curb corruption among public officials.

The city mayor Councillor Solomon Mguni had previously announced that the policy would be implemented in June.

He said the city council designed a declaration form for the councillors who requested for some amendments.

BPRA co-ordinator Emmanuel Ndlovu said they had developed a proposed Local Authorities Anticorruption Framework which dovetailed some principles around anti-corruption with a policy on declaration of assets and sources of income as viable options for reducing opportunities for corruption amongst elected officials. 

He said following the residents association`s anti-corruption framework, the local authority has developed a policy that ensures councillors provide full information regarding their sources of income, assets, liabilities and conflict of interest.

“The Asset and Liabilities Declaration Policy adopted by BCC requires councillors to provide information regarding employment, personal details of spouses, names of dependents, financial statements, incomes (including income from investments, salaries and emoluments), assets (including but not limited to land, buildings, vehicles and financial obligations owed to councilors) and the value of those assets,” said Ndlovu.

“This policy will go a long way in curbing corruption and promoting accountability.”

The BPRA co-ordinator said they are determined to make sure the councillors’ assets are made public and it volunteers to compile and develop the register for assets owned by the city fathers.

“BPRA maintains that the register of public assets should be made public and should be updated annually,” said Ndlovu.

He said in 2018 they had embarked on a campaign to have all newly elected Bulawayo councillors declare their assets in line with Section 198 of the Zimbabwean constitution.

“Ever since the campaign was launched, only two out of twenty-nine councillors came out publicly to declare their assets,” said Ndlovu. 

“These two councillors handed over their list of assets to the BPRA leadership at a community meeting held at Nkulumane Hall on the 16th of November 2018.”

Ndlovu added: “It is the contention of BPRA that while futility in the fight against corruption has bred some form of acceptance, ordinary residents are however not prepared to normalise corruption. 

“BPRA envisions contributing to the city of Bulawayo’s assent as a centre of local governance excellence, prime service delivery and the city of first choice in Zimbabwe.”

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