United Nations (UN) has urged Malawi to root out corruption if the country is to recover better from Covid-19 and accelerate progress to achieve sustainable development by 2030.
UN Resident Coordinator, Maria Jose Torres says in a statement on the International Anti-Corruption Day on Wednesday that while corruption impacts every country, it is the poor who are hurt the most as it hinders their access to essential services as well as opportunities to prosper together.
“Malawi should vigorously deal with the endemic corruption that has potential to ruin efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, and undermine democracy and the rule of law,” said Torres.
Human rights violations, impunity, market distortions and organized crime all surge when corruption thrives, she says.
“This erodes quality of life, threatens human security and exacerbates human suffering. Preventing corruption means that every dollar spent on development activities actually brings the intended impact of transforming lives and communities.
“A robust and unbiased fight against corruption therefore contributes to reducing inequalities and eradicating poverty,” said Torres.
The UN commends those in Malawi who have shown their determination to fight corruption and calls for increased independence, empowerment and support to institutions such as the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) and the Ombudsman.
“To win the fight against corruption, more robust systems for accountability, transparency and integrity are needed; businesspeople must act responsibly; and a vibrant civic space and open access to information should be guaranteed,” Torres added.
“A change in behaviour to uproot a culture of corruption and instil positive values are essential,” she said.
President Lazarus Chakwera participated in the events in Blantyre which was organised by ACB.
In his remarks, Chakwera building a free Malawi requires that all act now.
“Each of us has a role to play, whether as private citizens or as representatives of government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAS), the private sector, the youth, the media, national leaders, civil society and religious leaders,” said Chakwera.
The President said his government has fulfilled its promise to fight corruption by fully funding ACB and making it independent.
He said the theme for this year’s local conference – Act Now! Fight corruption for a better Malawi – was carefully chosen to remind Malawians, especially the youth on the importance of integrity and action as key to fighting corruption.
“Act now means each of us doing something to end corruption as a matter of urgency. Act now means each of us doing something today that prevents corruption tomorrow.
“Act now means each of us identifying and stopping the particular form of corruption we either commit, or delegate, or enable or tolerate. Act now means each of us act now,” said Chakwera.
The Malawi leader said corruption remains an evil that has led to impoverishment and moral decay of citizens, hence making his rallying call to Malawians to reject such realities.
Chakwera’s desire to “clear the rubble” – as he puts it – has, in a few short months, already led to serial investigations into past governments’ dubious deals, and suspicious contracts being suspended.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :