JB says Malawi cash-gate is ‘national tragedy’

Malawi’s President Joyce Banda has described the swindling of billions of Malawi Kwacha from state coffers in what has been dubbed the Capital Hill cash-gate scandal, named after the seat of government as a “national tragedy.”

I see this looting of public resources as a national tragedy,” said President Banda on Friday at Kamuzu Palace in the administrative capital Lilongwe after  administering an oath of office and allegiance to newly appointed Minister in the Office of the President and Cabinet responsible for Good Governance, Dr. Christopher Theophilus Daza.

Banda said the looting of public resources “is a betrayal of trust and an act of theft and fraud. It is our national problem and we are going to deal with it, not because of external influence but because we know it is the right thing to do, I believe that as a country we can realize a clean.”

In September the budget director in the finance ministry survived an assassination attempt on the eve of revealing the government corruption ring.

President Banda: Will improve on transparency and accountability

Since the scandal emerged donors have suspended aid, calling on government to rapidly deal with rampant corruption.

Malawi relies on foreign aid to bankroll around 40 percent of its national budget.

President Banda said she is committed to fight against theft, pilferage and corruption in the country.

She said the creation of Good Governance Ministry in OPC is meant to help her run a “responsible” administration.

“I have established the ministry for Good Governance in my office to emphasise the importance of issues of accountability, transparency and responsible government. I recognize that one of the major challenges facing this country is system governance where we seek to realize a clean government,” said President Banda.

“For the 18 months we have worked very hard and come out of the brink of economic crisis, whilst we are seeing signs of recovery, full recovery is not achieved yet. Therefore we must work with more determination to sustain the gains we have registered,” she explained.

Banda replaced the authoritarian Bingu wa Mutharika in April 2012. She was a vice-president under Mutharika .

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