Malawi President Peter Mutharika has rejected claims that corruption is endemic in his country.
Mutharika conceded that there is corruption and that he is also determined to crackdown on the vice.
However, he denied reports that corruption is endemic in Malawi.
“I don’t think it is endemic, it is certainly institutional and to some extent it is structural,” Mutharika said in an interview monitored by Nyasa Times from Voice of America.
“I think what happened is that there was laxity in managing for example public money financial systems. The laws were there but there was no accountability.
“When people travelled somewhere and got government funds they were supposed to account for [that] and the law requires that, [and] they never accounted for it. Here was this culture of total irresponsibility and that is what happened,” Mutharika said.
Mutharika said that his government has established the public management finance system to address the issues of graft.
He also said he replaced Judge Renzine Nzikamanda as the director of the Anti-Corruption Bureau with Lucas Kondowe, a U.S.-based expert on money-laundering and fraud who was working for Deloitte Touche and also First Merchant Bank of Malawi. Kondowe is deputised by lawyer Reyneck Matemba.
The President claimed credit that his government has taken a ‘zero tolerance’ for corruption by living to his promise to adequately fund the anti-corruption body with human and financial capacity to do its job without the interference of the Executive arm of Government.
But Kondowe is on record saying that the low funding of MK1.4 billion it received from the national budget is not enough to run investigations in the Cashgate scandal.
“The funding is disturbing our effectiveness in the investigations. We needed MK 3.6 Billion and the MK1.4 we got to use in the fiscal year is too little from the investigations we are working on in the Cashgate and others,” said Kondowe.
Mutharika said government has put “all the mechanisms in place” to fight corruption, saying investigations are continuing.
The Malawi President is on record vowing there will be no ‘sacred cows’ in the fight against corruption, promising to prosecute all those involved in “Cashgate”, a reference to a huge corruption scandal which hit Malawi during Joyce Banda’s presidency and also the DPP government from 2005.
T he country lost about K20 billion and from 2005 under the late Bingu wa Mutharika it is said that K92 billion was plundered.
The cashgate scandal led to donors cutting aid. Malawi is heavily dependent on aid, which provides 40% of the government’s budget.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :