Malawi President Joyce Banda has assured donors and cooperating partners that her administration will toughen measures to battle corruption and that no-one will be shielded in the campaign against grat.
President Banda speaking in Scotland on official visit, said her administration has a special responsibility to take the fight against corruption to another level with the economic reform agenda.
“I wish to confirm to you that my Government remains committed to the economic reforms that we have put in place. We will not relent. The economic reform agreed with the IMF will be fully implemented,” said the Malawi leader.
“In addition, my Government will continue with the Anti-Corruption drive,” assured President Banda.
“We have seen how good programmes can be destroyed by corrupt practices. As long as I am in this office, I will not condone any corrupt practices by a government official,” she said.
President Banda also expressed gratitude to United Kingdom for pumping in more aid to Malawi
The UK Government currently provides aid of around £115 million to Malawi, and is one of the largest donors to the country.
And State House press officer Tusekele Mwanyongo said Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond has announced a £4.9 million (about K30.7 billion) package for aid projects in Malawi.
The support focuses primarily on health, education and agriculture, with additional funding for governance, accountability and private sector development as well as responding to humanitarian emergencies.
The aid helps improve tlives of Malawians in several key areas, such as reducing child mortality, fighting malaria and HIV and creating a more open, democratic society.
“I wish to express my gratitude, on behalf of the people of Malawi, for the unwavering support from the British Government, through DFID, ever since I ascended to the Presidency of my country,” said President Banda.
“As you are aware, I assumed the Presidency of my country in April last year at a time when the economy of my country was near collapse. This was due to political and economic governance weaknesses that led to souring of relations with our development partners including the United Kingdom. It therefore became very clear to me that my first task was to take measures to deal with these political and economic government challenges, and take necessary measures to get my country on the path of economic recovery.
“The actions which my Government took were difficult but necessary. I am therefore grateful to the British Government for being the first to come forward with support to cushion the impact of the economic reforms that we had to take. Your Government immediately came up with £33 million as a front load to sectoral support in the health, education and agriculture sectors even before the International Monetary Fund issued a Letter of Comfort.
“The British Government subsequently provided an emergency budgetary support amounting to £20 million. We also received £6 million towards the Farm Input Subsidy Programme. We are also pleased to note of the commitment of £16 million towards the emergency procurement of drugs.
“On our part, I wish to assure you and the British taxpayers, that we are committed to transparency and accountability in the utilization of these resources. We have put in place systems to ensure that these resources go towards the intended purpose,” said President Banda.
President Banda told the British Government officials that her administration is undertaking reforms to improve the environment for private investment, explaining that her government had made a decision to get Malawi into the top 100 countries on the World Bank Ease of Doing Business Index by the end of 2013.
She appealed for continued support from the British Government towards the key sectors of the Malawi Government, Economic Recovery Plan—Agriculture, Tourism, Energy, Mining and Infrastructure.
President Banda said:“The continued budgetary support will ensure that the key initiatives in the ERP receive the necessary support”.
Banda arrived in Edinburgh, Scotland, on Sunday on an official tour of the United Kingdom where, among other engagements, she took part in the Dr David Livingstone Bicentenary Celebrations. She will continue her tour from Tuesday in London, England.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :