Donors say Malawi corruption still worsening: Calls for ‘further reforms’ to deal with fraud gangsters in govt

Malawi development partners say the country continues to be significantly more corrupt under the leadership of President Peter Mutharika and have urged the government to step up efforts to  fight against corrupt gangsters in the corridors of power.

US Ambassador to Malawi, Virginia Palmer: Among those who issued the statement

Heads of Mission of Britain, United States of America, Ireland, Germany, Norway, Japan, European Union and Union Nations gave a candid assessment of the fight against corruption  in a statement to mark UN-designated International Anti-Corruption Day on December 9.

“On International Anti-Corruption Day we reiterate our support for Malawians exposing and addressing corruption,” the statement made available to Nyasa Times said.

The donors pointed out that corruption is a barrier to poverty reduction –  diverting scarce resources away from healthcare, schools and water provision. It affects critical capital investments, like roads and power generation. Corruption is a disincentive for private sector investment, economic growth and jobs.

“ We recognise that the Malawian Government has made efforts such as improvements in public finance management, laws on Access to Information, Financial Crimes and, recently, Political Parties. Effective implementation of these laws is critical, now,” said the statement.

The development partners said “f urther reforms” are also needed.

They noted that  indicators on corruption still show “a negative trend” and there are continuous reports of fraud, often related to procurement.

Graft-busting body  Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) must be able to pursue all cases without “undue influence”, the statement said.

“ Tackling corruption requires a concerted effort: all public institutions need to ensure strong controls are in place and that civil servants are held to account,” the statement said.

“ The Procurement Act should be put into practice as a priority, including merit-based recruitment of staff of the new Public Procurement Authority. All accountability institutions should be adequately resourced to fulfil their mandate effectively,” they urged.

Donors further asked the private sector to respect the law and report suspicious transactions to the Financial Intelligence Authority and other institutions.

“We support the media in keeping the public informed to support accountability in public life. We recall that Malawi’s high profile scandal ‘cashgate’ happened in the run-up to the 2014 elections. We call on all stakeholders, led by the authorities, to safeguard scarce public resources between now and the next elections.”

Leader of opposition Lazarous Chakwera recently told Parliament that the fact is that President Mutharika’s  “countenances corruption among his own ministers” and is surrounded by aides who not only interfere with government processes for awarding contracts, but also ought to be investigated for corruption “for all the inexplicable wealth they have amassed in less than 40 months.”

Chakwera said President Mutharika,  Cabinet Ministers, and the Presidential Aides continue to operate above the nation’s anti-corruption laws that some controlling officers, junior level accountants, civil servants, and department directors feel emboldened to continue looting with impunity, as is the case with some parliamentarians who are systematically abusing their Constituency Development Funds (CFDS).

Chakwera  exposed the fraud that is taking place in the procurement of ESCOM generators, perpetrated by the President’s own aides.

He said the Escom genset deal is not the only fraudulent deal happening under Mutharika’s watch that they are aware o, saying the  whole Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government “reeks with the stench of corruption” and they cannot investigate it because “criminals do not investigate themselves.”

However, government official spokesperson and Information and Civic Education Minister Nicholous Duasi  said  donors recognised the efforts of the current administration in fighting corruption.

“There are a number of things government is doing to fight corruption,” said Dausi.

He said President Mutharika has on numerous occasions outlined his commitment to fight corruption.

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China
Guest

Very true corrupt has worsened go to Ministry of Energy. All the money for development in rural areas is being shared among the directors. Indeed this government has failed. I wonder what Auditor General’s office does.

chimanga
Guest

With the Prince of thieves at the helm, what do you expect?

Fred MWATHENGERE
Guest

Malawi now has “corrupt gangsters in the corridors of power”. This is sad. The State President should do something to save the image of Malawi. Sorry!!

Fake Petros
Guest
Well-observed and stated. It is only ddp fraud gangsters and thieves who would contest this observation. They, in fact, would say this government is trying all it can to fight corruption. FAKE INDEED!!! When fair thinking Malawiians say this country is on the rot with corruption because of ddp culture of nepotism, tribalism and regionalism ddp thugs always contend you hate them or you do not wish them well. These thugs ought to be reminded (they seem to deliberately choose to suffer from selective amnesia), that ddp at some point, with a lomwe president on the driving seat of course,… Read more »
Zagwa
Guest
These clowns, masquerading as diplomats are an integral part of the problem hindering our development as regards the fight against corruption. It is OBVIOUS in Malawi WHO the corruption proponents are and more importantly WHAT needs to be done to arrest the situation. Sadly these so called donors (not sure what they are donating these days anyway) wine and dine with the Goodall Gondwes by night and pretend to help us fight corruption by day. If you think I am joking, visit (5 out of 7days a week) any upmarket restaurant in Lilongwe (Blue Ginger, Buchannans, Capital Hotel etc) and… Read more »
Gogodasi
Guest
Muhura was brought in to head the civil service in order to siphon tax payers’ money. Where in the world could office furniture cost MK64m even furniture for Trump cannot. Zimbabwe has come up with very plausible measures to control waste of money that includes cabinet Ministers and MPs to fly economy class where the Business class is only reserved for the President and his deputy. Will you be surprised when Zimbabwe gets back to its feet in just two years and surpass the economic gains Malawi has made so far? This simply demonstrates that there is wisdom in the… Read more »
Banda
Guest

The biggest culprits are police officers. We keep asking the government of DPP why having 7 road blocks between Zalewa and Blantyre cba ? The purpose of these roadblocks is to milk us road users . They are thieves and corrupt they use their authority to harass and steal from road users. Mr president is Malawi a police state? Are the roadblocks good for economy? Is Malawi in a state of war or emergency? Tourist are afraid to visit our country because it is portrayed as if it’s on war.

LIPHAVA NAMANDWA NGONGOLIWA
Guest
LIPHAVA NAMANDWA NGONGOLIWA
Mama we in the DPP went into government to steal and plunder. We can not fight corruption when our own leader tames corruption like a kid. We can’t even touch our Chaponda except to pretend with the courts that we are doing something when we are not. Your statements will only be clear if we move out of government which wont happen for the foreeseeable future. Right now we can not regain our political sanity and consciousness, as we did when Joyce was in control temporarily because its too sweat to plunder this country. Look we have no commitment to… Read more »

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