Leaders encourage President Banda to squeeze looters hard

World leaders have urged Malawi President Joyce Banda to toughen her resolve as she turns the screws on the evil of plunder of public resources and its perpetrators.

The leaders emboldened President Banda as she separately talked with them before and after the memorial service of anti-apartheid and social justice icon Nelson Mandela in South Africa on Tuesday.

The Malawi leader was among a throng of over 100 world leaders attending the service that attracted an unprecedented attendance in the history of funerals of leaders or celebrities.

The other known funeral service to have attracted a strong-rainbow attendance was of Pope John Paul II with around 80 world leaders present.

Banda have a chat with President of Tanzania Jakaya Kikwete

Meeting her counterparts from different countries around the globe, President Banda would be indulged to brief them on the goings-on in Malawi.

She told them about the success her administration has registered in discovering and bursting long-existing cabals of criminals that have collaborated for years to steal from the people of Malawi.

So far, she said, investigations, which are continuing, have led to the rounding up of a number of suspects across the board while large sums of money have been recovered from homes and cars of some of the suspects.

She added that her administration has made sure that law enforcement institutions work concertedly and without hindrance to ensure that the rot is cleaned up and a strong message is sent out that public resources should never again be taken for granted.

President Banda also told her counterparts that she has solicited help from cooperating partners in terms of technical expertise and funding to accountability institutions to expedite the administration of justice and facilitate the strengthening of systems and legislation.

The world leaders assured her of their support to ensure that she delivers on her mandate of making sure that the lives of the people are changed for the better through, among others, putting in place or strengthening existing safeguards for protecting state resources.

Prime Minister of Lesotho, Dr. Thomas Motsoahae Thabani, for example, commended President Banda for resolving to passionately confront the looting and plunder of public resources, saying such commitment is not common among leaders.

She advised her not to ever consider easing her foot off the gas pedal, regardless of the resistance and set-backs, until the battle has been won.

“Do not relent, Madam President. What you have decided to embark on is a noble fight. At the same time, keep in mind that it is not an easy one.

“Crooks are tough to fight, but not indomitable. They use the money they have stolen to fuel resistance and set-backs. But squeeze them even further. Don’t give them the space. You must face them with a resolve of steel,” said the Basotho leader.

For the first time in the history of Malawi, the fight against corruption is being led from State House with concrete action as opposed to lip-service that marked the preceding administrations.

To this political will, cooperating partners have since last week responded with assistance that will help tie the loose ends to pieces of legislation and systems which looters have hitherto used to commit mischief.

President Banda with former South Africa president Thabo Mbeki
Malawi President Joyce Banda (left) and Liberia President Ellen Johnson

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