Malawi Pres. Banda warns to fire Ministers involved in corruption

President Joyce Banda has warned that she will not hesitate to fire any Cabinet Minister proven to have been involved in corrupt practices.

Banda issued the warning at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe  on Wednesday when she officially opened the Orientation Workshop for Cabinet Ministers and Deputy Ministers.

She said to develop the country, it was important that Ministers and Government Officials desist from engaging themselves in corruption practices. The president said corruption was evil and that if condoled could derail the development of the country.

“Beside hard work and good performance, our vision can be obtained if and only you Honorable Ministers and your officials, desist from engaging in corruption practices. Corruption is evil and retards development.

Deputy Chief Secreretary Willy Samute at the Official Opening of Orientation  Workshop for Ministers and Deputy Ministers at Kamuzu Palace - Pic by Lisa Vintulla

Deputy Chief Secreretary Willy Samute at the Official Opening of Orientation Workshop for Ministers and Deputy Ministers at Kamuzu Palace – Pic by Lisa Vintulla

“I therefore would like to warn you that I will not hesitate to dismiss any minister who will be proven beyond reasonable doubt that he or she is involved in corrupt practices,” she said.

The President further asked the judiciary to take corruption cases very seriously and accordingly pass stern judgments on perpetrators of corruption.

On the orientation workshop aimed at equipping the ministers with knowledge and skills in regard to the operation of the government machinery, the president said it was an opportunity for ministers to interact and share experiences while understanding the successful delivery of government services.

President Banda said ministers have a critical role to play in driving government’s agenda. She said the workshop would orient the ministers to discharge their respective mandates professionally and overcome the challenges while meeting the expectations of Malawians.

“Our agenda and policies are clearly communicated to Principal Secretaries and to the public. As I have said before, let me repeat myself that the agenda am driving is to eradicate poverty through economic growth and wealth creation.

“It is important that ministers understands their respective responsibilities as provided in the constitutions and other statues,” the president said.

Dr. Banda further said, “Your responsibility as leaders in your respective ministries is to ensure that we are a nation of achievers, we should not sit back and relax, rather we need to work hard and strive to implement the national development agenda.

“The workshop will rekindle and revitalize your efforts to fulfill the implementation of what you have planned in the 2012/2013 fiscal year and what government plans to do in the 2013/2014 financial year.”

The workshop will also help ministers to measure the challenges that were ahead of them and how to strategize to ensure that they were moving according to their purposes and objective.

The President then called on the ministers to take the workshop seriously and to religiously and fully participate in the deliberations.

Vice President, Khumbo Kachali who is the facilitator of the workshop said ministers were selected from different backgrounds such that it was important that they were equipped with new knowledge so that they fully understand the operation of the Government.

“As you are aware, this is a blended Cabinet, we have people from the civil society, the private sector and from the civil service. It is for this reason that we organised this workshop so that we all operate on the same base,” Kachali said.

Minister of Transport and Public Works, Mohamed Sidik Mia said as an old member of cabinet, the refresher course would remind ministers to understand their role and how they could relate with the public and also improve on altitudes towards the people they have in their ministries.

Mia also said the course would help ministers understand government procurement procedures and other activities that could lead to violation of the constitution.

“This workshop is very important to the new comers who will have the knowledge on how government operates,” he said.

Among other areas, the ministers would be inducted on, public conduct and ethics, business and office etiquette, administrative law in Malawi and government anti-corruption drive and strategies.

Public Finance and Management Act (No.7 of 2003) the role of the directorate of public procurement and collective responsibility, the role of the ministers in the house vis-à-vis government business and other topics that the ministers would be oriented on.

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