Malawi President Mutharika challenged to up his game in corruption fight: Review procurement laws

Delegates to the country’s biggest anti-corruption conference which was held last week in Lilongwe came up with recommendations which include laws on public procurement be reviewed.

ACB boss Lucas Kondowe greets President Mutharika.(C)Govati Nyirenda

It was recommended that the procurement laws should be reviewed to encourage maintenance of a paper trail in the procurement chain.

“Provide adequate checks and balances within the Office of the Director of Public Procurement and procuring entities, ensure integrity of procurement personnel and removal of middlemen,” the recommendations read.

The delegates also made a call for President Peter Mutharika to launch a personal crusade against corruption in the country.

The recommendations from the conference also include the review of laws on protection of whistleblowers.

“We need to encourage whistle-blowing, review the law on whistle-blowing and revisit the penalties on protection of whistleblowers. The current fine of K50, 000 is not enough,” read the recommendations.

Among the recommendations were the call for independence of the graft busting body, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB).

The recommendation read in part.“The presidency should walk the talk. The ACB should do their work without interference from the residency.

“The presidency must be committed to enforcing the laws of the country.”

The delegates also recommended the set up of special courts to tackle corruption and enforcement of declaration of assets laws.

“The leadership should come out with declaration of assets on a yearly basis and make declared assets public,” the conference recommended.

There were further recommendations for barring people convicted of corruption from holding public office and that companies involved in corruption should be blacklisted.

President Mutharika said when he closed the summit, which attracted more than 300 delegates across the country and beyond, defended his government from criticism that it was weak on corruption.

“Often-times, people say there is need for a strong political will to fight and defeat corruption. I agree, we cannot fight corruption without political will. That is why I have never tolerated corruption.

“But let me add one thing. It takes more than political will to fight corruption.  It is for this reason we dedicated these special days that we as a nation must come together and do a collective soul-searching,” said Mutharika.

The two-day conference was, among others, attended by ministers, judges, donors, heads of constitutional bodies, academia, civil society and experts.

Keynote speaker  at the conference was a renowned Kenyan orator Professor Patrick Lumumba who appealed for strong leadership to fight graft.

According to Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs findings, MOST Malawians see the fight against corruption in the country as lacking action because not much is being done to investigate suspected corrupt individuals in political leadership.

The findings, contained in a 20-page Consultation Paper developed by the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs,  indicate that many sectors feel politicians are corrupt because they are attracted to politics for financial gains rather than serving the nation.

According to the 2017 Transparency International (TI) corruption index released in January,  Corruption has worsened over the last few years as the country has drastically moved from position 88th in 2012 to 120 in 2016.

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Mpini Walezala
Mpini Walezala
5 years ago

Zokuti corruption ku Malawi izatha ndiye tingonamizanapo apa.
Kuchipatal kumene kuti ukhale pamzere mpakana ulipire security guard kaye!

5 years ago

Mangani Chaponda pasaoneke zosintha malumulo Chaponda Mkabichi asanalowe

James Phiri
James Phiri
5 years ago

APM says he won’t tolerate corruption but how was that mansion of his brother built in Mulanje and what about the home he procured from Lilongwe city council for about K3 million in Area 10 of Lililongwe. K3 million in Area 10 can’t buy you anything but he got the house from city council at a give away price. What about procurement processes not being followed for major procurements such as Maize and water pipeline from lake to Lilongwe. All of these show he does allow an environment for corruption to continue.

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