JB tells Al Jazeera cashgate an ‘opportunity’ to combat graft in Malawi

President Joyce Banda has denied that 18 months into office, she has failed with regard to fighting corruption saying the recent “Cashgate” scandal will herald a new beginning that would end corruption that has plagued the country.

Speaking Saturday on Talk To Al Jazeera, Banda said she is committed to greater transparency and accountability in governance as also to “zero tolerance” towards corruption.

Al Jazeera’s Jamal Elshayyal asked the Malawian leader if she has failed in the fifth against corruption, which Banda responded: “No, we have not failed.”

Banda added: “This cancer has been going on for 15 years and the biggest tragedy in the fight against corruption is covering up.

President Banda in an interview with Al Jazeera’s Jamal Elshayyal

“I think the best one can do as a leader is that once you discover then you need to take advantage of the opportunity, which is what we have done. We must stop it now.”

According to Malawi leader the cashgate scandal “provides a unique opportunity “for the southern African nation  “to stand up united as I have done in the past two months and to say that one: we must face corruption, and two: we are the ones who must do something about it. We must have zero tolerance against corruption.”

“If it has happened in the last 15 years there must be a cut line,” said Banda.

She also hinted on reforms in the laws to combat the menace and that there should a corruption court.

Banda in the interview said she “truly believe” that she has been “setting up a good example to the people of Malawi”.

She said the fight against graft comes before her political career ahead of next year’s elections.

“I have placed the fight against corruption before my political career,” said Banda, claiming she was the first Malawian president to try to stop corruption.

Banda said if she does not win elections next year because of her effort to investigate the missing billions , she will be comfortable with that.

Recently, Banda has been giving interviews with international media following the cashgate scandal. There has been reports that the interviews are being arranged by London-based public relations firm Bell Pottinger which has been hired for Malawi leader’s reputation management.

Banda denies failure in corruption fight:

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