JB says corruption a global phenomenon: Pledges to fight graft ‘to the bitter end’ in Malawi

Malawi President Joyce Banda has said corruption has become global phenomenon, saying that there is no country in the world without a quantum of the menace but  vowed she will spare no effort in fighting corruption in the country.

Banda was speaking on Wednesday when she led Malawians in commemorating the Anti-Corruption Day in Lilongwe.

She said corruption is frustrating government’s efforts to rebuild the country’s economy and promised to deal with all people involved in the looting of government funds at Capital Hill christened as  ‘cashgate’

President Banda with members of National Integrity Committee: To fight corruption to the bitter end
President Banda with members of National Integrity Committee: To fight corruption to the bitter end

“Corruption has become one of the greatest challenges that every Government is confronted with in today’s society all over the world. Many African countries are struggling to fight corruption. Just very recently, I read a commentary how corruption as besieged European countries where corruption costs European countries 120 billion euros each year,” noted President Banda is a speech broadcast LIVE on state broadcaster MBC.

Banda pointed out that her current Justice Minister Fahad Assani alerted in 2001 when he was working as  Director of Public Prosecution that one third of national budget is lost to theft and corruption.

“Corruption has become a global phenomenon. Therefore in addressing corruption, we need holistic approach and a globalised mindset,” said President Banda.

She charged that her government will continue to fight corruption at all levels by providing the necessary support to the Anti-Corruption Bureau to enable it to perform its functions effectively.

“I have said it before that I will fight corruption to the bitter end, even if this comes before my political career,” she said.

Banda said the cashgate “ is not accidental.”

“ I have explained it before that it was because I noticed that our currency was not accordingly responding to the recovery that was taking place in the economy that I raised serious questions with the former Minister of Finance.

“I charged him and his team to work to discover any loopholes through which Government resources were being lost and seal those loopholes.  True to my suspicion, and thank to the work of my officials, the looting of Government resources at Capital Hill was discovered,” she said.

The Malawi leader said she will investigate and seal all loopholes in the Integrated Financial Management System (Ifmis) adding that she will not allow plunder of public resources to continue.

Said Banda: “This is why I and my Government have spared no effort in investigating this looting and bring all those involved to justice. I have said it time again, I have placed my political career at stake by going flat out to root out this corruption because I believe this is the right thing a leader who loves her people and her country should do.

“I have said that I will shield no one and that I have allowed all the law enforcement agencies to work independently, professionally and diligently to ensure that we, as a country, get to the bottom of the problem and deal with it once and for all. I have also allowed the participation of foreign experts in virtually every key institution in [so that] we have a credible and thorough investigation of the matter.”

Banda also touted the credibility of her government investigations in the cashgate scandal.

“Do not be deceived, not every country can allow foreign experts to get involved in investigating internal and serious matters as we have done. It is like we have allowed foreign experts to go anywhere in our house, including our own bedroom, in order for them to assist resolve this matter,” she said.

The Malawi leader said she has put in place a government Action Plan on measures to improve public financial management.

“The implementation of that plan is on course has had wide support, including that of our Development Partners,” she noted.

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