‘Corruption in Malawi stinks’: Prof Lumumba calls for independent ACB

Professor Patrick  Lock Otiento Lumumba, a renowned anti-corruption activist from Kenya,  has advised that the country’s graft busting body  should be operating in a free, fair and credible manner if corruption is to be eliminated.

Prof. Patrick Lumumba from Kenya making a presentation at the conference(C)govati Nyirenda. Mana

Lumumba, who is Director at Kenya School of Law and once served as director of Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission before he was removed under controversial circumstances, was speaking in Lilongwe on Thursday as a panellist during the National Anti-Corruption Conference.

He said corruption should be fought “from the top” and bringing to justice all those named in corruption reports to deter other would be offenders.

In his presentation on ‘Corruption: the bane of Africa’, Lumumba said corruption stifle development and that is one of the key drivers of under development in all societies and it has also been responsible for the breakdown of society’s moral fibre destroying all sectors on its path.

“In the countries where there is political will there is also lack of institutional strength. The most important thing about fighting corruption is to have leadership from the top. The tone must be set by the President,” he said.

“Then it is set by leaders of institutions such as the Judiciary, the Legislature and all the leaders and all the institutions,” added Lumumba.

The Kenyan said all citizens have a role to play in the fight against corruption.

Lumumba said he told President Peter Mutharika to be in the lead to fight corruption and that “he must be a crusader.”

He proposed the establishment of a special corruption court to speed up prosecution and disposal of graft cases.

Lumumba also said education can be used “to redeem the upcoming generation that 18 years from today there will be  a generation which does not indulge in corruption.”

The National conference has been organized  by government to seek views from all stakeholders on how corruption can be eradicated.

But critics say “it’s too little too tale.”

In an editorial comment of leading daily newspaper, The Nation, the paper said the conference does not look like the tool that will provide the pathway to tame corruption which is endemic in the country.

The paper also backs the idea of an independent Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) which is “under the  armpits of the Executive, which is  itself perceived as ill-equipped to fight the vice going by the country’s standing on the perception index internationally.”

It pointed out that the theme of the conference ‘Corruption in Malawi: Freality or perception’ is a misnomer.

“With the high levels of corruption domiciled in the country, especially in public institutions, we should not be wasting our few resources debating whether the vice exists in the country,” said the editorial comment.

It stated that corruption in Malawi “stinks”.

“We long put on the shelf to gather dust the Corrupt Practices Act and the National Anti Corruption Strategy – the two key tool we should have ably used to deal with corruption if there was a strong political will to do so,” reads the comment.

And the paper reported the findings of the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs that most Malawians see the fight against corruption  as lacking action because not much is being done to investigate suspected corrupt individuals in corridors of power.

In the paper, ‘The Fight Against Corruption in Malawi’,  the ministry said it discovered that Malawians also feel that politicians use the fight against corruption as a tool to victimise opponents.

It also revealed that political parties’ funding is a fertile ground for condoning and promoting corrupt practices.

Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Samuel Tembenu  speaking at the conference on Thursday said his ministry has been carrying out consultations on how the country can fight corruption and this afford an opportunity for stakeholders to voice out their views and input in the fight.

The Minister said Conference; the first of its kind in the country symbolizes government’s commitment to ensuring that there is a corruption free society.

ACB Director Lucas Kondowe said much as the Bureau has operational independence, it lacks financial independence making it one of the major challenges in the fight against corruption.

Lumumba said he “sympathies” with ACB boss, saying the graft-busting body “can only be the lead agency, not the resolver of all problems.”

He said the role of ACB is “prevention, investigation and prosecution” but that is as far as their powers go.

However, Lumumba said “corruption must be fought on the basis of sound laws and sound institutions.”

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akanyeramtsetere
Guest

we dont need a kenyan to lecture the corruption vice in malawi we r knowledgeable about it. let him help his tax payers in kenya. our has enough learned fellows, wamva?

Luka
Guest

Clearly, the ‘public service’ attracts the wrong kind of people. We need to sit down together and consider what we can do to make it attractive to the right kind of people, and unattractive to the wrong ones.

Ikwechi
Guest
How stupid are you Malawians? Am a Kenyan working for an international NGO here in Malawi. Actually there is no serious corruption in this country compared to Kenya. Lumumba has never ever put a dent on corruption in my country because successful elimination of corruption does not depend on orators but leadership. Singapore got rid of this scourge through effective leadership by its Primeminister. Malaysia did away with corruption through good leadership by its first prime minister but when he retired the new guy made things worse. Cash gate was just under USD35 million which really is peanuts. In Kenya… Read more »
winston msowoya
Guest
BRAVO PROF.LUMUMBA!!! YOU ARE THE MANDELA OF AFRICA,BRAVO LUMUMBA,YOU ARE THE DUNDUZU OF AFRICA,BRAVO LUMUMBA,YOU ARE THE NKRUMAH OF AFRICA,LUMUMBA,YOU ARE THE MPHAKATI OF AFRIKA,LUMUMBA,YOU ARE THE KIMATHI OF AFRICA,LUMUMBA,YOU ARE THE NYERERE OF AFRICA,LUMUMBA,YOU ARE THE POTENTIAL FIGHTER FOR DEMOCRACY AND TRANSPARENCY FOR THE COMING GENERATIONS OF AFRICA.YOU ARE 100 PER CENT THAT MALAWI STINKS AND YOU HAVE BEEN FAIR TO INCLUDE YOUR OWN KENYA.LUMUMBA CARRY ON THE STRUGGLE FOR OUR OVERWHELMINGLY OPPRESSED AND EXPLOITED MASSES OF AFRICA.YOU HAVE UNLIMITED SUPPORT FOR YOUR RELENTLESS STRUGGLE TO BUILD NEW AFRICA FOR OUR CHILDREN,THEIR CHILDREN AND THE GENERATIONS TO COME.FOR YOUR… Read more »
Chalume
Guest

Abale, let us not paint Lumumba as delivering anything new to us. Have we not known all along that we need an ACB that is independent? There is something else we need to change, and only we can change it: come to terms with the way corruption is degrading our society and make a real commitment, inspired by a need to develop our country, and end corruption for the improvement of life for all Malawians, and not just those from one tribe.

Richard Soko
Guest

The problem in Malawi is lack of decisive leadership. Peter Mutharika has demonstrated the contrary

The Liberals
Guest

cry for your selves and those coming after……

falliot
Guest
fighting corruption in Malawi is very fundamental ,if we as Malawians are to develop….Several laws have been drafted, several conferences have been conducted, organization such anti corruption bureau has been established about 20years ago inorder to fight corruption…. We all know that corruption is bad.Secondly as a nation we should accept people have ability to do corruption, not becoz its good, but becoz they see some advantages in doing corruption though ,the advantages are for individual interests other than public interests… These are some of the most important facts/articles of curbing corruption….. @@@@@:Our education curriculum right away from primary school… Read more »
alungwana
Guest

We treat corruption as a government system. This is too bad. Malawi can’t develop. We need the leadership of integrity.

gwenyethe
Guest
As a country we are retrogressive because we have smiled at corrupt tendencies. And as long as we are not ready to hold the corrupt by the balls we should forget about development. Look at the quality of the so called tarmac roads that people are bragging about. Corruption is so stinky in Malawi like a fish that lies dead on the shores of the lake for two months. I don’t even see tangible political will to curb corruption. Now that the corrupt are being shielded by authorities entrusted to fight corruption, it remains with us that corruption will be… Read more »

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