Jumbe slams Malawi high-level corruption, rips farm subsidy program

Former finance minister Friday Jumbe has decried the high-level corruption in the country, describing Malawi as a failed state.

Jumbe, who is heading New Labour Party sympathetic to governing People’s Party, noted on Friday that graft in Malawi is worsening.

“Malawi is a failed state because of corruption. Economy is in reverse. There is no proper order and corruption is rampant,” said Jumbe, adding “You can’t access government services without buying your way there. Corruption has been institutionalized.”

A concern over high levels of executive corruption is one of the issues that Consumer Association of Malawi (Cama) raised to mobilize consumers to hold peace demonstrations against government.

Jumbe: Rampant corruption

CAMA, headed by fierce government critic John Kapito, accused government of covering up corruption and called for an end to the culture of impunity.

The former Finance Minister said government needs to adopt a “zero-tolerance approach” to corruption .

Farm subsidy

Jumbe, who once headed the state grain marketer ADMARC, also criticized the Farm Input Subsidy Programme (Fisp) aimed at Malawi’s smallholder farmers, saying it has failed to benefit the impoverished because of graft.

“And we need to reverse the subsidy programme as it is riddled with corruption as well. It has failed because it has been politicized. There are few fat cats. It is a complete failure of policy,” Jumbe said.

Touching on political party coalitions ahead of 2014 three tier polls, Jumbe said NLP is ready to work with any political party whose agenda is to “bail out the country from enormous economic challenges and rampant corruption”.

Alcohol sachets

He also called for a total ban on alcohol sachets.

“Its high time government took a bold step to ban these sachets to protect our children from alcohol abuse. Interestingly, the distillers, mostly Asians, don’t allow their children to consumer such highly potent beer.

“We have given them (distillers) unwarranted leniency, there should be not sachets in the country for the betterment of Malawi,” Jumbe said.

Many Malawians have expressed concern over youth’s binge drinking especially strong liquor which is cheaper in sachets.

Further public outcry is caused by the fact that several people have died from consuming the alcohol in large quantities.

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