Malawi independent presidential candidate Thoko Banda says ‘lets all fight corruption’

Malawi’s independent presidential candidate in next year’s tripartite elections, Thoko Banda has said all stakeholders should be involved in fighting corruption.

This follows the cash gate scandal at Lilongwe’s Capital Hill where some civil servants were arrested for fraud and corruption.

According to Banda, media, general public, government and the donor community should be in the forefront on fighting corruption.

“I’m worried with the way different stakeholders are handling this issue. It’s as if corruption is a new thing.

Thoko Banda: Fighting corruption requires a collective effort
Thoko Banda: Fighting corruption requires a collective effort

“Corruption didn’t start with this current government, it has been the way of government in this country to the point that it has become a culture,” Banda said.

He added that all the past regimes were corrupt, but the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government made it sophisticated, it became rampant and they got away with it.

“It’s surprising to see civil servants on fixed salaries owning big plots in Area 43 and Area 10 while some even own big companies,” he said.

He further said government should appoint an independent and credible commission of inquiry to investigate the cash gate scandal.

“I understand parliament wants to investigate the issue. I’m against this idea because some of the parliamentarians need to be investigated too. I wonder how these people would investigate themselves,” he wondered.

He also expressed his dismay on how parliament managed to pass budgets knowing there were loopholes in the previous budgets.

“I understand the anger and frustration that Malawians are feeling at the moment, but we must understand that prominent members in the country are also involved in the scandal,” he explained.

He added: “Some of the individuals in government should resign to pave way for investigations to avoid some civil servants being used as scapegoats. We need an international forensic team of investigators that would please both the Malawi and donor public”.

He further explained that public figures should desist from using language that would spark confrontation among members of the society.

“I heard a prominent figure addressing the Capital Hill culprits as cockroaches. This is unacceptable. Let’s remember that this was also the catch-phrase that was used in Rwandan genocide. Let’s avoid dehumanizing people whilst creating a witch-hunt society,” he said.

According to Banda, the culprits that have been arrested are innocent until proven guilty by the court of law.

However, he accused the general public for not taking government to task on matters that affect their livelihoods.

“It’s a shame to see the public honoring government officials in a very an acceptable matter. Malawians must learn to ask questions and seek clarification on what is happening in their areas,” he said

He cited the Phalombe road and the Gaddafi Hospital as examples of unfinished projects that need explanations

Banda then appealed to the international donor community to stop punishing the African countries alone and letting the Europeans get away with it.

“Some international donor institutions are also involved in the malpractice, these must be punished as well,” he said.

“Malawi is the 10th poorest country in the world after all the past and reigning regimes. Malawians are still ridiculously poor. If the donor community withholds fund, the average Malawian will suffer,” Banda explained.

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