The Consumers Association of Malawi (CAMA) has called on President Peter Mutharika to break his silence and act on reports that most of government and his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) officials are engaged in corrupt practices, depriving the poor access to social and economic justice.
The consumer watch-dog has also taken a swipe on the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) for failing to live up to its mandate as provided for in the Corrupt Practices Act by pouncing and prosecuting reported cases of corruption amongst senior government officials especially those close to the President.
In a statement issued on Monday, consumer and human rights activist also CAMA’s executive Director, John Kapito questioned Mutharika’s failure to speak late alone condemn the increased corruption in his government.
“Malawians are shocked and concerned that corrupt practices in the country are at the highest peak where everyone especially in government’s Parastatals and agencies is involved in one way or the other.
“The public is more shocked because most of these corrupt practices are pure theft which can be easily investigated and those involved can be quickly convicted,” said Kapito.
“There are undisputable reports on corruption taking place on daily basis, small and large, in various government institutions, unfortunately both the ACB and the President himself pretend as if all these reported cases are mare fiction. This has diminished the desire of the very same public to support the fight against corrupt practices and to report on corruption.”
Kapito said it was more embarrassing and confusing that most of the corrupt practices are being done by people who are close to the President, therefore compromising the fight against corruption.
He then labeled Mutharika as ‘an embarrassing weakest’ link in the fight against corruption, arguing the fight against corruption demands strong political leadership.
“It is clear and it is becoming more difficult for the President and the ACB to combat the ever-growing corrupt practices in the country.
“What the President and his cronies must realize is that the continued corruption taking place in the country is creating more poverty and making Malawi unattractive to foreign direct investment. Corruption is one of the main contributing factors to the continued withdraw of donor support by many partners that assist Malawi financially,” he added.
He noted that everyday Malawians are being reminded of the challenges that are facing because of the Cashgate, the K577 billion theft and the continued corruption in government ministries and embassies as well as Parastatals and agencies such as Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM), Water Boards, Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (ADMARC), Malawi Communication Regulatory Authority (MACRA), Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (MERA), Roads Authority among others.
“We are therefore concerned and confused to hear the State President pleading with donor community for budgetary support when he is unwilling and unable to stop corruption within his own government ministries and Parastatals where billions sums of money are siphoned to individuals and not for the good of ordinary Malawians. We wonder how that budgetary support money will add value to poor Malawians when a lot of money is being shared amongst friends of the President.
“What is more baffling is the silence that the President has given to the fight against corruption despite the many reports and voices coming out from the general public, the media and donor community for his failure to act on such reports and his continued shielding of those people involved in corrupt practices especially within his own government.”
Cama has since demanded Mutharika to release all signed contracts, names of all big suppliers and contractors in the last three years from various government Parastatals especially ESCOM, Water Boards, ADMARC, MERA, MACRA, Roads Authority and government ministries such as Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Irrigation, Ministry of Finance, and Ministry of Energy and Mining among others.
The consumer-watch dog has also demanded government to engage an independent film other than the ACB and the office of the Director of Public Procurement inorder to verify the quality of services rendered and the names of the suppliers, for good governance.
“We are also requesting the President to release the full recent forensic audit report for public scrutiny; and the ACB to inform the public about the current status of investigations and court cases that they are handling. We are demanding the information to be provided to CAMA and the public within the next three weeks from the date of this Press Release.”
Malawi’s image has been soiled with continued rising of corruption especially amongst Mutharika’s ministers and associates.
Despite calls from the public and the donor community to act on the raised corruption reports, Mutharika has remained mum on the issue, raising questions on his seriousness to eradicate corruption in the country.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :