Norwegian envoy urges state agencies and stakeholder unity in Malawi’s graft fight – The Maravi Post

By Fazila Tembo

Norwegian Deputy High Commissioner to Malawi, Bjarne Garden says cooperation among state agencies and stakeholders could lead to Malawi making tremendous progress in its fight against entrenched corruption.

The envoy also urged the Government to adequately fund state agencies that are on the frontline in the war against graft, saying this will improve Malawi’s key economic indicators.

“Corruption is a spoiler and the country’s economic growth depends on a graft-free environment,” Garden said.

The envoy’s statement comes amid a heated turf battle between state agencies that are thwarting the launch of a vital Government project aimed at investigating and prosecuting financial crimes in Malawi.

The Reserve bank of Malawi, the Malawi Revenue Authority, the Anti-Corruption Bureau, the Financial Intelligence Unit and the Malawi Police Service, have been unable to append their signatures to a
memorandum of understanding (MoU) that will kick-start the project.

But Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) says it is making a tremendous progress to make sure that the graft levels are reduced.

ACB Spokesperson Egritta Ndala, pointed out the involvement of different partners including the private sector and civil society groups as one avenue the organization has incorporated to execute its
mandate.

“The active participation of these stakeholders shows that the country recognizes corruption as evil, which should not tolerated be by any any sector of the society,” she said.

Ndala added, that ACB successfully investigated in the plundering and theft of public resources popularly known as cash gate in the public sector.

The prosecution of the cash gate cases has resulted into 100 per cent conviction rate, she said.

She however, bemoaned inadequate financial resources for the bureau to carry out its mandate as expected by the public, reluctance from the public to give out information, inadequate human resources, and lack of
equipment.

The Anti-Corruption Bureau has been allocated a budget estimate amounting to USD 4 million in the 2017/18 budget. Of this, USD1.5 million is for personal emoluments, while USD2 million is for corruption prevention, public education, investigations, and
prosecutions.

Lilongwe resident John Kaduya said Government is doing well in the fight against corruption as evidenced by recent arrests, but it should not be selective.

“Government should investigate those involved in corruption by not looking from where they are coming from, which party they belong, and which position they hold,” he said.

In 2013, private companies and individuals plundered and looted over US$13 million from the Government’s purse through dubious contracts; most of the offenders have been convicted.

Fazila Tembo is a Maravi Post contributor.

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Law and order – The Maravi Post

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