A group of civil society organisations (CSOs) has demanded the immediate resignations of the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) director Lucas Kondowe, for what they called gross incompetence.
Gift Trapence of Centre for Development of People (CEDEP) told a news conference at Lilongwe Hotel on Saturday that Kondowe has proved to be not an effective leader at ACB where he said only those not connected to the government are a target for prosecution.
However, Information minister Nicholas Dausi dismissed the accusations, saying the CSOs might have personal vendetta against.
“The call is unconstitutional,” he said.
He instead asked the CSOs to disclose where they got the funding to hold the news conference.
Human rights defender Billy Mayaya said the failure by ACB to bring to book murderers of Issa Njauju points to the institution’s failure to operate efficiently and independently.
He faulted ACB’s selective application of the law in the swift arrest of opposition People’s Party interim president Uladi Mussa, over an alleged passport scam while he was minister.
Mayaya expressed concern with ACB’s continued delay and apparent unwillingness to arrest former minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development George Chaponda over the alleged Zambia maize scam and his being found with local cash and stacks of foreign currencies in suitcases at his home .
The recent Transparency International (TI) Corruption Index showed that corruption has worsened in the country.
The index shows that Malawi has moved up eight places from position 112 in 2012 to 120 in 2016.
Trapence said the rise is a result of lack of leadership commitment to fight against corruption, adding, what is failing the fight against corruption is lack of political will, especially by the President.
He said: “If we have impunity and arrogance coming from the highest office desisting to fight corruption, nothing in this country will move. If we are to stamp out corruption, we need real commitment from the President to walk the talk by not shielding people close to him.
“What has killed this country is that corruption is entrenched within party political systems, as such, whenever a political party comes into power, they think it is their ‘turn to eat’. As a result, there is a lot of political interference in most of the parastatal institutions from so-called ruling party loyalists who become more powerful than the President himself.”
Trapence emphasised the need to revisit provisions that deal with the appointment and confirmation of heads of parastatals, including having an independent appointing body for the director of ACB that has no political affiliations so that corruption can be contained.
Malawi Law Society (MLS) is also on record saying the country is losing the fight against corruption, because “there is bankruptcy of leadership in the fight against corruption, the efforts are half-hearted and lukewarm.”
MLS pointed out that institutions that are mandated to fight corruption have “systematically been weakened “and the officers charged with these functions are “highly compromised.”
Kondowe reacted to the calls to resign by saying the civil society groups are entitled to their opinions.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :