Malawi president warns corrupt officials and the media

President Joyce Banda

President Joyce Banda

Malawi president Dr. Joyce Banda has strongly warned that the country’s Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) will have no mercy on any corrupt person, including high ranking officials in both the public and private sector, because her government wants a corrupt free Malawi.

Speaking during this year’s Anti-Corruption Day commemoration, whose theme was “Media; a partner in fighting corruption”, the Malawi leader said that her government would fight corruption in all its forms with commitment and vigour.

“The Anti-Corruption Bureau will prosecute corrupt people regardless of their status, and know that there will be no sacred cows or special ones in the clean-up.

“My government will find new strategies to get to the bottom of this immorality. We cannot allow a few greedy people to benefit while the majority are suffering,” the president said, adding corruption is fueling poverty in the country.

While thanking the media for their tireless efforts in exposing corrupt practices, the Malawi leader advised the media to make in-depth investigations before bringing issues public to avoid victimizing innocent people.

“The media is doing a commendable job in exposing corruption but I urge you to do your investigations thoroughly because there are some people suffer in silence just because they would not want to fight the media,” lamented the president.

Dr. Banda, who revealed she has realized that corruption is spread out, deep rooted more than she thought, disclosed that to ensure the integrity of the Anti-Corruption Bureau is well-preserved, she appointed a respected person Justice Rizine Mzikamanda, to head the Bureau. Justice Mzikamanda is a Judge in the country’s Supreme Court of Appeals.

Justice Mzikamanda has since guaranteed that the ACB will continue to be independent as it strives to root out corruption in the country. “The Bureau does not tow any political line. In fact, we are working towards clearing that image by being as independent and as professional as possible,” the ACB director has declared.

Justice Mzikamanda however made it clear that the battle cannot be a one-man show, saying; “The fight is not for government alone but needs concerted efforts. We need each other all the way.”

President Banda explained that in directing that junior officers should no longer be chairing procurement committees (but that it should rather be principal secretaries) is one other bold step in the fight against corruption.

National Integrity Committee Chairperson Bishop Joseph Bvumbwe praised the media for the role they play in the fight against corruption.

The focus for this year’s commemoration was on the media, one of the pillars in the Bureau’s National Anti-Corruption Strategy launched in 2009, and for the first time the annual event was held in a rural setting-the lake-shore district of Mangochi, and at an open ground-the airstrip, a development that the state president applauded.

The president however observed that for the messages to reach out to the masses the speeches should also be in the vernacular language to drive home the message.

Malawi commemorates the day every February 5 but globally the it is commemorated on December 9.

And demonstrating her commitment to the fight against corruption, Malawi president Dr. Joyce Banda although she had just jetted in the country the previous day, the Malawi leader availed herself to the function. President Banda was at a global development summit in South Korea. Before that, Dr. Banda was in Ethiopia for a heads of state and government summit.

With a population of 13 million, Malawi has for long been depicted as a country where corruption is too widespread.

Malawi Parliament passed a Corrupt Practices Act in 1995. 

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Read about the role of the media, a parliamentarian and a large mining company in a recent case of alleged corruption in Malawi:

http://mininginmalawi.com/2013/02/05/anti-corruption-day-in-malawi/

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