The Botswana Defence Force (BDF) has introduced the declaration of assets and liabilities for officers of the rank of colonel and up and for public officers at deputy director level and above.
The BDF commander, Lieutenant General Placid Segokgo recently informed his charges through a circular No.35 of 2020.
In the circular dated July 7, 2020, Segokgo said in an effort to prevent and detect corruption, money laundering and the acquisition of property from proceeds of crime, Parliament recently enacted the Declaration of Assets and Liabilities Act No. 12 of 2019.
The Act makes provisions for the declaration of interests, income, assets and liabilities of certain categories of persons. The provision of this Act shall continue to apply to any declarant for a period of five years after the person ceases to hold office, the commander said. “The deadline of submissions has been extended to August 31, 2020 by Declaration of Assets and Liabilities (extension of Period of Declaration) Order 2020,” he said.
However, a declarant who is appointed to, assumes office, or subscribes to the oath of allegiance on or after July 1, 2020 should make a declaration within 60 days of his/her being appointed, assuming office, or subscribing to the oath of allegiance. “Furthermore, it should be noted that a declaration shall be made every 24 months after the first declaration.” However, there are consequences of failing to declare on time like blacklisting of persons who failed to submit their declarations on time.
There is also a fine of P20,000 and/or imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years and a daily penalty of P200, if a declaration is not made within 30 days of a person being issued with a notice directing him or her to declare. In addition, any person who has not filed their declaration by the end of the period specified, commits an offence and is liable to a fine not exceeding P500,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years, or both. “Due care and diligence must be taken that information given by the declarant is kept confidential and is handled by persons positioned to handle security classified information. Consequently, any person who handles the declarations should observe and preserve the confidentiality of all the information contained in such declarations and such confidentiality subsists even after transmission of the declaration forms to the director general, Ethics and Integrity Directorate.”