Malawi’s top anti-corruption official has said fighting corruption in the country is becoming “complex” every other day.
Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) director Lucas Kondowe said that corruption was a challenge to the world over as such, it is important for all citizens to devise ways to ensure corrupt tactics were effectively rooted out.
“With advanced technology, dealing with corruption is becoming more and more complex. Money can exchange hands without physically being carried. The need for strong links among commonwealth member states cannot be overemphasized to win the battle against corruption,” Kondowe said.
He made the remarks at the 7th annual meeting of Commonwealth heads of anti-corruption agencies in Africa at Sunbird Nkopola Lodge in Mangochi.
Kondowe said the national anti corruption efforts of the Commonwealth Africa could not be effective if member states worked in isolation considering that experience in the fight has shown that corruption is becoming a cross border criminal offence.
He disclosed that the ACB in Malawi has already started collaborating with other anti corruption agencies in the region whereby earlier in the year it worked with the Anti – Corruption Commission in Zambia in the ongoing investigation of maize procurement.
“This cooperation has proved to be beneficial as it made the work of the ACB in Malawi smoother and efficient,” he said.
Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Samuel Tembenu urged Commonwealth countries to refuse to provide “safe havens” to fugitives who flee from other countries from corruption prosecution.
“Your respective agencies must devise ways of working together to bring to book those who engage in corruption and other financial crimes. It is important to note that people who are corrupt will always devise new ways of beating or circumventing any system put into place to fight corruption,” Tembenu added.
The minister called on Commonwealth African anti corruption agencies to ensure independence and professionalism in the discharge of their duties, noting that through independence and professionalism it would be easy to win people’s trust.
“The manner in which you conduct your investigations, the speed at which you conclude those investigations and timeliness in concluding cases you take to court will be the basis on which the public will judge whether you’re effective or just a another by-word,” he said.
Tembenu pointed out that effective anti corruption agencies with appropriate and strong legal frameworks would help respective member states to achieve Sustainable Development Goal number 16 dedicated to reducing all forms of corruption and bribery.
He said that Malawi was committed to fighting corruption and bringing to book anyone involved in corruption without fear or favour without regard to one’s standing in society.
“Realising that the fight against corruption cannot be the sole responsibility of the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB), government is operating on eight pillars of the national strategy against corruption. The pillars emphasise on inclusivity and national consensus in interrogating which the fight appears to be elusive,” he said.
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