Malawi commentators have differed on the current governance rating in the 2015 Mo Ibrahim Index.
Malawi is now ranking 17th, jumping by one step from last year’s position 18.
Founder Mo Ibrahim, the Sudan-born telecoms tycoon launched the index in 2006 in a bid to help African countries measure and improve their performance.
It ranks countries according to 93 indicators grouped under four categories: safety and the rule of law, participation and human rights, sustainable economic opportunity and human development.
Launched in London at BMA House, Tavistock Square, this year’s index shows Malawi’s overall governance rating at 64.5 percent and 10 in the continent.
Malawi has a lower score of accountability at 35 percent. The indicators in the accountability category include; accountability, transparency and corruption in the public sector, corruption in government and public officials, diversion of public funds and access to information among others.
While despite an increase in criminal activities, the country has scored 95 percent in national security.
One of the commissioners of the Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC), Justice Dzonzi described the rating as “fairly good.”
“It reflects in general terms the correct position,” Dzonzi a local radio on Wednesday.
He added: “The general manner in which we are conducting government business, we are doing very well. We are not off the mark.”
But associate professor and head of political and administrative studies at Chancellor College of the University of Malawi , Happy Kayuni, said the Mo Ibrahim ratings “is not reflective of the immediate context in which we are in Malawi .”
Kayuni noted: “Most of the [positive] results happened during the Joyce Banda regime. She took over the time when her predecessor [late Bingu wa Mutharika] had bad image of human rights and governance.”
He said under the current rule of President Peter Mutharika and the DPP, the country is sliding back to bad governance.
“We are seeing a reversal, those who are concerned about human rights must be watchful,” said Kayuni.
On corruption, Kayuni pointed out that the ‘Cashgate’ issue “has not been fully addressed.”
He cited the brutal murder of Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) director of corporate services Issa Njauju as one of issues that “raises more questions” than answers.
Speaking in London, Ibrahim said the 2015 Index of African Governance shows that “recent progress in other key areas on the continent has either stalled or reversed, and that some key countries seem to be faltering.”
“This is a warning sign for all of us. Only shared and sustained improvements across all areas of governance will deliver the future that Africans deserve and demand,” he said.
The top three countries in the index remain Mauritius, Cape Verde and Botswana.
The bottom three are Central African Republic, South Sudan, and lastly, Somalia.
South Sudan and the CAR were the biggest fallers, followed by Mali.
The survey also rated Zimbabwe as one of the six countries that made strides in addressing governance issues, despite its leader Robert Mugabe being one of Africa’s longest serving leaders.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :