Beyond Money: ACB Hailed for Intervening in Irregular Job Recruitments
About two and a half decades ago, the graft busting body, Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) opened its doors in the country, marking a new chapter in the fight against corruption in Malawi.
Apart from prosecuting suspected corrupt financial transactions, ACB has over the years also been involved in ensuring that various recruitment processes being carried out in the civil service are free from corruption.
Last year, for instance, ACB investigated the recruitment of enumerators under the Unified Beneficiary Registry (UBR) in six districts, namely: Karonga, Nkhotakota, Ntchisi, Dowa, Chiradzulu and Kasungu following complaints of irregularities, including corrupt dealings, which allegedly marred the process.
After its investigations into the complaints, mostly from the job seeking youth, the bureau, according to its principal public relations officer Egrita Ndala found no prosecutable corrupt practices in five district councils.
However, the bureau recommended a restart of the recruitment process in Karonga after identifying some irregularities.
“As a bureau we have various interventions we carry out in order to prevent corruption related to issues like recruitment. One of them is the prevention side of it where we sensitize various professionals, including those involved in recruitment, against corrupt practices.
“We also sensitize the masses to let us know whenever they suspect corruption in recruitment and in 2023, the main issue we can talk about is the case to do with the Unified Beneficiary Registry (UBR) survey,” she added.
According to the ACB publicist, they got complaints that in some areas, recruitment of those to conduct the survey was not done procedurally.
Some concerned youth from Karonga led by Chimwemwe Botha told the media that they challenged the recruitment and training of enumerators because they felt the criteria the council used in recruiting the temporary enumerators was not transparent.
“We feel that we are individuals deserving these positions but the process of recruitment was not conducted as expected. When we applied for the positions, there was no call for interviews for those who applied, but instead, some individuals were called to go and report for duties,” read part of the letter the youth wrote to the ACB.
“They were told to go with their certificates, National IDs and smartphones; we suspect foul play was involved in the recruitment process,” it added.
They alleged that the information they had was that among those considered, there were some individuals who did not even apply, relatives of those in power, somewhere over-aged and some held different positions in other offices.
Speaking in an interview on Thursday, January 2024, Botha said they were impressed with the role ACB played, saying this will encourage more people, especially the youth to report about corruption.
“We are thankful for the good work ACB has done; this will motivate us not to hesitate to approach ACB whenever we come across such malpractices,” said Botha.
Meanwhile, National Anti-Corruption Alliance chairperson Moses Mkandawire, while commending ACB’s intervention on the matter, says stakeholders need to join forces to ensure such malpractices do not continue.
“What we need is to come together and start engaging each other constructively in terms of how we can create employment, how we can ensure the rule of law is upheld and how we can demand accountability from the people that we put into public offices,” says Mkandawire.
As part of the 25th anniversary celebrations, ACB with support from the European Union, Voice of Accountability programme, among others held various activities such as an Anti-Corruption Symposium at Bingu International Convention Center in Lilongwe.
Latest from Cassim Aubi
- Initiative Challenges Chiefs, Local Authorities to Champion Climate Action
- Tussle for Leader of Opposition: Fresh Legal Battle Looms for DPP
- Chiefs for Intensified Awareness About Corruption & Related Laws
- Public Funds Wasted As Cooperative Factory Shell Stays Idle for 13 Years
- Education Ministry Challenges Youths To Champion Digital Transformation Agenda