The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) received 1, 217 corruption-related complaints during the 2020/21 financial year up from 642 in the previous year, representing an 89.6 percent increase in corruption reporting with the Bureau.
Additionally, the Bureau arrested notable members of the elite on corruption charges and secured convictions in high-profile cases, with outcomes reflecting on the amount of public indignation over corruption that the prevention functions of the Bureau have managed to generate over time.
ACB Director General Martha Chizuma made the sentiments during the National Anti-Corruption Dialogue (NACD), which ended on Thursday at the Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC).
Chizuma said this demonstrates the kind of trust Malawians have in the Bureau.
“But has it been an easy journey for the Bureau? Distinguished guests, it is a mixed bag. The Bureau has registered both success stories and horror stories in the process of spearheading the fight against corruption in the country,” she stated.
The ACB czar disclosed that the Bureau has established a Forensic Data Unit (FDU) where they extract vital information of evidential value from gadgets seized from suspects.
She said this has helped to improve the quality of evidence in the investigation and prosecution of cases.
Further, the Bureau is in the process of lobbying for the integration of corruption and ethics content in the national primary and secondary school curricula.
Chizuma said corruption still occurs in greater and more sophisticated manifestations in the country, citing the latest Transparency International report, which ranks Malawi number 129 with a score of 30 out of a hundred in terms of corruption cleanliness where the global average score is 43 out of a hundred.
She said this puts Malawi in the group of 22 countries whose performance has declined from the previous results and Malawi has dropped by seven.
“Among the problems that face Malawi’s anti-corruption drive is a failure for numerous corruption cases to come to their finality for extremely long periods, capacity issues, and inadequate as well as poor quality resources. If the corruption situation remains in favour of corruption as opposed to the fight against it, we should forget any progress, let alone success in the attainment of all our development aspirations as a country. We are going nowhere with the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy III, we cannot expect any outcomes from Malawi 2063 and there is no prospect of getting any close to attaining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” she warned.
Chizuma challenged Malawians to speak up and out when they suspect corrupt practices, stressing that this is crucial in ending the vice.
She said remaining quiet when corruption is taking place is equally complicit to crime.
“Colleagues, two people can destroy the entire human race; the one who knows and does not speak and the one who does not know but insists on speaking,” she emphasized.
In his absentia speech, Vice President Dr. Saulos Klaus Chilima said corruption is quite detrimental, as it twists justice, impedes development, frustrates accountability mechanisms, and dehumanizes the citizenry.
Chilima added that if not well checked, corruption would distort the application of the principle of the rule of law.
“It gives rise to impunity which further weakens the confidence of the citizenry in public institutions especially those that are meant to administer justice,” he said.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :