Review corruption laws, Malawi leader asks new Justice Minister

Malawi President Joyce Banda has proposed that the Corrupt Practices Act be critically reviewed to deal with any shortfalls that culprits take advantage of, saying her administration is seriously poised to end graft and fraud in public institutions.

Speaking after a new cabinet was sworn in at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe on Wednesday, the President advised the newly appointed ministers to be servants of the people and not take advantage of their positions to enrich themselves through fraudulent acts.

“I wish to call upon the Minister of Justice (Fahad Assani) and officials in his ministry including the Attorney General, the Solicitor General and the Judiciary to critically look at the present laws on corruption and theft by public servants and make necessary amendments, in consultation with appropriate stakeholders.

“If the existing legislation is okay, then maybe we just need to sensitize the members of the public and in this regard, you must work very closely with the Minister of Information and Civic Education,” the Head of State said.

The new Justice Minister and his wife pose for a photograph with the Head of State

The new Justice Minister and his wife pose for a photograph with the Head of State

The President said while her government has been rebuilding the economy, issues of accountability, systems governance and oversight functions in Government are still facing challenges.

“As I have said before, there is urgent need to strengthen our financial management systems of the public resources. We need a culture of stewardship in the care and use of public resources,” she said.

The President said the oaths of office, allegiance and secrecy taken by all ministers and deputies apart from two—Sidik Mia of Transport and Dr. Maxwell Mkwezalamba of Finance, were a commitment not only to her as Head of State but, more importantly, to the people of Malawi who have given them the mandate to govern on their behalf.

“I wish therefore to encourage you to put Malawi and the people of Malawi first in the course of your work and above individual interests.  This may seem like simple advice but when you seriously reflect on it, you come to realize that those of us in positions of authority cannot afford to ignore it.

“Remember that in this job you serve the country and its people. We are therefore stewards of the people. It is therefore important that we give back to the people diligence, commitment, dedication and honesty,” she said.

The Head of State stated that in the last one and half years, her Government has focused on “healing the nation and laying the foundations for growth and prosperity”.

“The successes we have registered in stabilizing the economy has brought a sigh of relief and a lot of hope for our people. It has also generated goodwill and support from our development partners across the globe,” said the President.

She then implored the new ministers to work hard and lead their respective ministries to deliver, but also to ensure that internal management systems are complied to.

“I call upon you to be champions and rally behind me in the fight  against fraud, theft and corruption in the country. I will not allow our development efforts to continue to be undermined by these vices in Government,” she concluded.

New Justice Minister Fahad Assan takes oath as his wife looks on

New Justice Minister Fahad Assan takes oath as his wife looks on

A cross section of newly appointed ministers, family members and ruling People's party supporters at Kamuzu Palace

A cross section of newly appointed ministers, family members and ruling People’s party supporters at Kamuzu Palace

President Banda is welcomed at the function by Chief Secretary to Government Hawa Ndilowe

President Banda is welcomed at the function by Chief Secretary to Government Hawa Ndilowe

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