Commonwealth and the new survey of Afrobarometer indicate that Malawi is performing poorly in the corruption fight, damaging prosperity prospects.
But Malawi government through its spokesman Nicholous Dausi has rejected the Commonwealth and Afrobarometer, saying it is a “stale” perception.
Malawi is hosting the Commonwealth meeting of heads of Anti-Corruption Agencies in Africa currently underway in Mangochi.
“Malawi is among the African countries that continue to be performing poorly in the fight against corruption because of bureaucratic issues which have led to the country failing to prosecute senior government officers that are suspected to be involved in corruption,” said Adviser and Head of Public Sector Governance at Commonwealth Secretariat Roger Koranteng in a keynote address in Mangochi.
“This has to change before we start celebrating that we are doing anything to fight corruption,” he added.
And the new survey, carried out by Afrobarometer—a pan-African non-partisan research network that conducts public attitude surveys on democracy, governance, economic conditions and related issues in Africa—indicates that most Malawians feel corruption has increased in the country over the past year.
In its summary of findings, the survey shows that about half of Malawians think that “most” or “all” police officers, business executives and officials in the presidency are corrupt.
According to the Afrobarometer survey’s key findings, more than seven in 10 Malawians, representing 72 percent, say corruption has increased over the past year, including two-thirds (66 percent) who say it has increased “a lot”.
The survey says most respondents deem police officers as the worst corrupt (54 percent) while business executives and presidency officials both come second with 47 percent.
Other government officials are on third position with 44 percent then members of Parliament (MPs) are fourth (43 percent) followed by traditional leaders (42 percent) and judges and magistrates on 41 percent.
But, according to the survey, most Malawians feel religious leaders are the least corrupt at 22 percent.
However, government spokesperson Nicholas Dausi, who is also Minister of Information Communications and Technology, said Afrobarometer survey is “not fair “.
He said: “ I don’t think it has taken cognisance of our efforts to fight corruption.”
Dausi said the survey may have been conducted before government launched certain initiatives such as the national anti-corruption conference organised by Ministry of Justice and ACB aimed at finding solutions to the vice.
He said: “Maybe, they have taken it from the point of perception not the reality on the ground. But that aside, government will continue collectively fighting corruption and ensure it is eradicated and nobody benefits from corrupt acts.”
And Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Samuel Tembenu said Malawi Government is eager to reinforce its stand against corruption as evidenced by the increase of funds to the ACB and other oversight agencies.
He said his ministry will do everything possible to continue with the reforms to make sure that the ACB remains independent in its quest to achieve zero tolerance to corruption, adding the government wants to invest a lot of resources in corruption prevention and not the other way round.
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