Economics Association of Malawi tips Chakwera on curbing corruption

The Economics Association of Malawi (Ecama) has advised the new President Lazarus Chakwera that his administration should ensure that it  tackles corruption.

Ecama president, Laureen Nyasulu: Tackle graft

Ecama president Lauryn Nyasulu said: “Curbing corruption is crucial now more than ever.”

Former president Peter Mutharika lost the elections partly for failing the country on fighting corruption.

Mutharika administration’s failed to arrest any individual in connection with the K236 billion Cashgate —the plunder of public resources at Capital Hill which originated in 2005 but exposed  after the shooting on the night of September 13 2013 of former Ministry of Finance budget director Paul Mphwiyo outside the gate of his Area 43 residence in Lilongwe.

Former president Joyce Banda, who is backing President Chakwera in Tonse Allaince,  ordered an audit which British firm, RSM (formerly Baker Tilly), undertook covering a randomly selected six-month period between April and September 2013. The audit established that about K24 billion was siphoned from public coffers through dubious payments, inflated invoices and goods or services never rendered.

In May 2015, a financial analysis report by audit and business advisory firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) also established that about K577 billion in public funds could not be reconciliated between 2009 and December 31 2014. The K577 billion figure was later revised downwards to K236 billion in another forensic audit released in 2016.

Corruption in Malawi can be divided into three main components, with the third one being more controversial than the other two.

There is  grand corruption, usually perpetrated by the powerful individuals who may be politically connected or wealthy and influential.

Grand corruption is lethal but indirectly felt. This includes poorly constructed roads  such as those being done by Sawa Group or other substandard public projects that look fine in a short period but start crumbling soon after.

The country is  paying heavy external debts for services that were not to the full benefit of the citizens due to grand corruption.

Then there is petty corruption perpetrated by junior citizens, mainly in the public service.

This is openly felt by the citizens — such as harassed of a citizen by police or delayed delivery of relevant services like medical services and issuance of the passport or driving licence.

The third type is the most lethal and is what fuels both grand and petty corruption: political corruption. This is the foundation of corruption.

Political corruption has created massive poverty, leading to a population that is easily manipulated through petty handouts and the peddling of artificial tribal mistrust.

“The government needs to seal all loopholes and use whatever resources available in efforts to rebuild the economy and safeguard the welfare of those that have been heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, ” Ecama president said.

President Chakwera has vowed to fight corruption as  the country struggles against joblessness and a flagging economy.

Chakwera  said he wants to provide leadership that makes everybody prosper, that deals decisively with corruption and theft of public funds and a leadership that will follow the rule of law.

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Mary Ann
Mary Ann
2 years ago

Our IFMIS is too porous. The new Government should check it and seal all holes. Alot of money has been siphoned.

2 years ago

Criminal corruption is simply the tip of the iceberg. Corruption by its nature is difficult to tackle. If you close one loophole, the thieves and criminals will find or make another one. An equivalent drain on our hard-earned taxpayer money is simply the inefficient bureaucracy of any government or civil service. Anywhere in the world, any government department or office you go to. They are all riddled with incompetent and inefficient staff. These staff get generous and preposterous salary and benefits packages. In Malawi many senior civil servants and staff of ‘State Corporations’ take home ridiculously extravagant salaries; more in… Read more »

2 years ago
Reply to  Sidos

Chakwera and Chirima should also concentrate on the CORRUPT PPDA(PUBLIC PROCUREMENT AND DISPOSAL OF ASSETS) Officials.There is systematic corruption and even UNDERSUPPLY of goods in relation to some invoices raised . There is rottenness going on in government ministries at Capital Hill each time a government TENDER comes out in newspapers.Some government officials are building mansions using the kickbacks they get from Indian businessmen and others. its a SHAME that corrupt officials get kickbacks and we the natives of Malawians fail to get contracts because their is an evil cartel of CORRUPT OFFICIALS AT CAPITAL HILL. Chakwera be careful of… Read more »

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