The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) is worried with recurring cases of corruption in the country, saying it is increasing the cost of doing business and scaring potential investors.
ACB director Lucas Kondowe said in an interview last week, corruption has a direct impact on foreign as well as domestic investment.
He said: “We are crying for investors to come and invest in the country, a development which would likely grow our economy as there will be more companies through which government is going to collect more taxes and create employment.
“But if you put corruption in the picture, it means the cost of doing business increases and, thereafter, it becomes a barrier for foreign investment that is why it becomes difficult for us to grow our economy in the presence of corruption.”
The Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) Business Climate Survey 2015 Report also outlined corruption as one of the 15 obstacles to doing business in the country.
Kondowe said that it is sad that a lot of people blame government for almost all the corruption incidences, stressing that “government is the demand side of corruption while the private sector is the supply and there is need for collaborative efforts in dealing with both sides if we are to deal with this problem.”
He said as part of its efforts in addressing the scourge, ACB has initiated a pilot programme on corruption prevention in selected institutions, among them, Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) and Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development.
Kondowe said without interfering in the procurement processes of the institutions concerned, which is why they are required to send their submissions to ACB when sending the same to the Office of Director of Public Procurement (Odpp) when they buy goods and services above a certain threshold.
The 2014 Governance and Corruption Report said a higher percentage of businesses believe that corruption is common in their transactions with up to 43 percent of businesses in 2013 saying it is common to pay some gratification to get things done, which is a considerable rise from 27 percent in 2010.
Malawi was ranked 110 out of 175 countries in terms of corruption perception on the Transparency International (TI) index of 2014.