Patriotism, hard work and honesty are some of the key factors that need to be entrenched within Malawi’s social fabric if the fight against corruption is going to yield desirable results, says President Peter Mutharika.
Speaking on Thursday in Mulanje during the commemoration of International Anti-Corruption Day, the President emphasized on the two virtues as the bedrock of his government’s efforts to completely eradicate the vice which he said has greatly contributed to slow transformation of livelihoods over the past decades.
“Corruption is a deadly enemy we must fight in an all-out war but it takes patriotism to fight for the noble cause of your country. You cannot fight corruption if you are not patriotic. We must all stand on the pillar of patriotism to wage war against corruption.
“ The first thing Malawi needs is to win the war of principles. Let us change our mindset. After all, the best human wars are fought and won in the heart,” said President Mutharika.
Coincidentally with his speech, this year’s theme for the commemoration was “Patriotism is the key to the doors of conquering corruption”.
President Mutharika noted that corruption, in any of its forms, is an enemy of the nation which only denies citizens of basic amenities such as healthcare, education, portable water, food and public infrastructure among others.
The Malawi leader bemoaned the tendency by public officials to execute their duties lazily saying this trend kills the spirit of service and humanity.
“Apart from patriotism, we must be driven by the principle of hard work. Most people walk into traps of corruption or stealing public funds because they want to make money the easy way. But
determination and hard work is the only path to success. Work and earn whatever little you deserve. Poverty or a low salary is not an excuse”
Commenting on probably Malawi’s most shocking corruption scandal, Cashgate, the President reiterated that his government doing all it can to ensure that through the Anti Corruption Bureau those who were involved are brought to book regardless of where they are and the positions they held in the previous government.
Mutharika no one should claim political victimisation in the crackdown to cashgate or any form of corruption.
“Nobody is being victimised, those who break the law will meet the wrath of it. Hate and vengeance are not part of me,” said Mutharika.
“We will continue prosecuting suspects, we are cultivating a culture of patriotism, integrity and hard work,” he stressed.
President Mutharika commended the ACB for remaining vigilant and carrying out proper investigations before taking suspects to court, a factor that has seen the graft-busting body attaining a 100 percent conviction rate on Cashgate suspects so far.
The President said Malawi is moving towards economic sovereignty, but pointed put that “we will not get there with corruption, laziness and under-performance.”
“We need the right discipline and performance to generate more resources, corruption must thus not be part of us,” he added.
Mutharika warned: “I’ll be tough on performance and will shake up the system whenever i want, let this be remembered.
“I will not tolerate laziness in the public service, I love my country, you love your country.”
In his speech Minister of Justice, Samuel Tembenu said the right to development becomes vulnerable where corruption is rampant.
“Corruption threatens democracy as it undermines democratic values. Report corruption, don’t remain silent,” said Tembenu.
On cashgate, Tembenu said the plunder was “-carefully planned, meticulously coordinated and executed. We may take time to get to the root of it.”
ACB director general Lucas Kondowe said corruption remains serious challenge in Malawi, and obstacle to economic development.
“We thank God for what we have done so far. We will continue doing more without fear or favour,” he said.
International Anti-Corruption Day has been observed annually, on December 9, since the passage of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption on 31 October 2003.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :