Friday, November 26, 2021

Malawi anti-corruption body says corruption continues unabated

Malawi’s Anti-Corruption Bureau says official corruption continues to rise in the country, with complaints doubling in the past year. ACB director Martha Chizuma, who took over in May, warned that if the trend continued, Malawi would never reach its development goals.

Chizuma was speaking at the start of a two-day national symposium aimed at exploring strategies to end corruption in Malawi on Wednesday.

He told reporters that it is worrying that those assigned to fight corruption are allowing it.

“It is sad to say that the people who have placed the public in a position of trust and are the ones who are misusing that trust and doing corrupt things. The way they’re doing it is pretty sophisticated,” Chizuma said.

He gave no further details on which state institutions are doing corrupt work, or what he meant by “sophisticated” corruption.

Chizuma said the complaints his bureau receives have nearly doubled in the past year.

“When you look at the actual data that we have in our office, we see that between 2019/2020 [fiscal year]We had 650 complaints. But now you see that in 2020/2021 we have 1,200 complaints,” she said.

Chizuma warned that if the trend continues, Malawi will never reach its development goals.

“Corruption takes money for roads, money for schools. So basically, what we’re saying is that the money we’re stealing through corruption right now is, really, the aspirations in 2063, the 10-year plan, the 2030 Sustainable Goals. They are literally stealing,” she said.

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President Lazarus Chakwera has long said that his administration is committed to ending corruption by arresting anyone involved.

In August, the ACB arrested three officials of the governing Tones Alliance in connection with a fraudulent fuel supply contract at the National Oil Company.

Political analyst Vincent Condove told VOA that Chizuma’s statement shows the ACB is still struggling to bring corrupt officials under control.

“To me it is a sign that corruption is taking place in this government and it is finding it difficult to deal with it. Otherwise I could not have imagined that she could complain about this. Because it has clearly indicated that there is a difference between rhetoric and action,” he said.

In this week’s conference participants discussed the need to implement new strategies. One idea is to establish specially designed courts to try corruption cases.

Rudolf Schwenk is the Executive Coordinator of the United Nations Development Program in Malawi.

“Very well prepared strategy. Behind all strategies there must be action. And there should be real actions. So I think Malawi hopes to have a more efficient governance system if the country takes concrete steps to fight corruption,” Schwenk said.

The seminar culminated on Thursday with a call to all stakeholders to take a leading role in the fight against corruption in the country.

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This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

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