Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) director general Reyneck Matemba has acknowledged the results of the perception survey of the Nation Publications Limited (NPL) which shows that people still have little trust in the graft busting body.
The survey reported in the country’s leading and influential daily newspaper, The Nation, indicate how ACB’s ability to act independently and execute its mandate of fighting corruption in the country effectively.
ACB boss said the poor perception may have resulted from the way the bureau handled the K2.8 billion Malawi Police Service Food Rations scam where the suppler Zameer Karim of Pioneer Investment made a claim of K466 million and deposited K145 million in a ruling Democratic Progressive Party(DPP) account at Standard Bank whose sole signatory is President Peter Mutharika,.
Matemba said the results that show 88 percent of respondents have little trust in ACB because the bureau cleared President Mutharika before the case was concluded.
“I know that even though we have made tremendous progress in as faras fighting corruption is concerned, we are also aware that all those efforts were eroded because of one single case,the Pioneer Investments- Malawi Police Service one.
“But again, for those people who question me or the bureau that where did I get the authority toclear the President, whatever I did is backed by the law. The moment you find that you don’t have evidence, the bureau has power to clear that person,” said Matemba is quotes reported by the paper.
In extended coverage, the paper’s editorial comment said “perception matters” because it shows people care about how their tax is being spent.
“It means people realise that all the money that changes hands through corruption could have helped communities that are under-resources and struggling for basic services,” reads the editorial in part.
The paper pointed out that there are myriad of social woes Malawians are facing, such as power outages, unemployment of graduate health workers, teachers and other professionals, and the shortage of essential drugs and equipment in the country’s hospital – owing to corruption.
“Corruption breeds mistrust, and when citizens do not trust their government they stop being interested in it, stop participating in it and even stop voting. And that makes government less efficient and less effective for all citizens,” said the paper.
It called on government and the ACB to demonstrate that these perceptions matter to them by taking action to rectify the situation and restore public trust in the system.
The NPL survey was taken after a similar polls by the news organisation in 2016 showed 90 percent of respondents had little trust in the graft-busting body, and also after a 2017 Afrobraometer survey revealed that over 50 percent of Malawians have no trust in government and its agencies to fight corruption. Furthermore, the 2017 Transparency International Index ranked Malawi as one of the countries where corruption flourishes.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :