Citizen-Will Key to Rooting-out Corruption-Pundits

A cross-section of Malawians, social and political experts agree that collective citizen will and action is key to ending corruption and plunder of public resources in Malawi.
Friday night the experts met in Mzuzu to dissect the Auditor General’s report which exposes a recurring culture of poor financial management, corruption and imaginable fraud in councils, government ministries and department, year in and year out. Lawyer and international Anti-Corruption expert Wesley Mwafulirwa observed that there can only be too little action to curb corruption among politicians and top officials in government, given they are appointed to the positions by politicians themselves. He said, government financial accounting system IFMIS and the MATIS at road traffic directorate are “flawless” but civil servants entrusted with the systems misuse the systems for personal gains at the watch of all Malawians amid high poverty levels in the county. Malawians who made contributions to the debate online, Livingstonia University based political commentator George Phiri and social commentator Emily Mkamanga also subscribed to the idea. Phiri said “the Bwana syndrome in public offices must end, the reason why these public servants are not being accountable is because we vest too much power upon them”. Governance expert and lecturer at Mzuzu University, Chrispin Mphande, lamented disjointed efforts between the Anti-Corruption Bureau ACB and the Auditor General’s to act on the scripted vice. “It takes too much time for Anti-Corruption Bureau ACB to act and prosecute suspects in the auditor general’s report, the Auditor General’s report needs a clause to prosecute such financial mismanagement,” Sibande said. ACB senior Public Relations manager, Egrita Ndala, observed, however, that the bureau does not operate how some of the discussants thought. “We need evidence and that evidence is gathered (by) way of investigations. The ACB and fiscal police are responsible for that. We can’t take the AG’s report to court. (That is) ...a losing case,” she said. The debate was hosted by the African Institute for Cooperate Citizenship, AICC, OXFAM and Integrity Platform Friday night at Mzuzu Hotel.
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Last modified on Monday, 16/12/2019

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