Donors Claim Cartels Duping Malawi
British high commissioner to Malawi, Holly Tett, says there is emerging evidence of cartels operating within the private sector in Malawi focused on grabbing public procurement contracts.
Tett, who was speaking on behalf of the donor community in Malawi, said this Monday during the world Anti-Corruption Day in Mangochi.
She observed that successful implementation of the anti-corruption strategy launched Monday would require an honest and open conversation about the culture of fear that exists in Malawi.
“Many Malawians have told us that politically-connected individuals are undermining your efforts in the fight against corruption.
“We are concerned about emerging evidence of “cartels” operating within the private sector to win public procurement contracts and the reports of civil servants being threatened if they challenge the status quo,” said Tett.
“The reality is if Malawi is not able to check corruption, it will further undermine your development agenda, erode trust with Malawian tax payers, scare away investors and make it harder for development partners to continue delivering the large amounts of assistance currently being provided”, she narrated.
She said as development partners, the donor community in Malawi is willing to share experiences and ideas to help the country overcome the scourge of corruption.
Tett said most importantly, the real impact from corruption will be on the average Malawian who loses out due to sub-standard and lost investments for public services.
There are also reports, she said, that some public servants are being persecuted for being professional in their work and championing zero-tolerance for corrupt practices by refusing to tolerate it.
ACB Director General, Reyneck Matemba, told the gathering that the observation of his office is now that some Malawians appear to have accepted corruption as a way of life and a culture.
He said the majority of complaints about corruption in government departments come from the department of immigration and road traffic, traffic police and the local councils.
“I have mentioned them and if I will have another opportunity I will mention them again because time is gone that we need to pretend as everything is okay,” said Matemba.
Justice and Constitutional Affairs minister, Bright Msaka, who represent President Peter Mutharika at the event said president has created an enabling environment in which the ACB and other law enforcement agencies can effectively operate to fight corruption.
“The clear message from the president is that nobody is above the law, the president will not shield anyone and there are no sacred cows,” Msaka said.