When contributing to a Senate debate about corruption in Kenya, one senator said corruption in that country has reached a level of being called extraordinary. Therefore, he advised government to come up with extraordinary measures to solve corruption. This situation is similar to Malawi. Indeed, there is extraordinary corruption. It is generally believed that even those people in government, who are assigned to control corruption, have just joined the bandwagon. It is not a secret that people in charge of procurement of government supplies, end up being the richest people. Surprisingly, no one bothers to check at what prices supplies are being purchased. Without doubt, they might be shocked that government supplies are being purchased at very high prices in comparison to the price of the same goods in retail shops. In a corrupt country like Malawi, the supplier has to factor in the amount to pay the one giving the order. This boils down to taxpayers losing out.
Malawians are aware that corruption is not just confined to this country but to other African countries as well. But what is surprising is that despite corruption, there is still progress in development in the other countries unlike in Malawi. In this country, it seems corrupt people do it with careless abandon, and without any remorse for poor Malawians. They freely and continuously engage in acquiring personal fortunes which are converted from the taxpayers’ money. Nothing much of taxpayers’ money is left for any meaningful development. Experience has shown that those people who do such savage corruption do not care because they have the assumption that they are protected by the powers that be in the country. It is common knowledge that the leadership deliberately support corrupt people to impoverish Malawians so that they can easily be manipulated and misled.
Imagine, due to leadership manipulation, Malawians are forced to believe that foundation stones are infrastructure development on their own. Since the President usually promises that money is available to construct colleges etc wherever the foundation stone is.
Unfortunately, some of the foundation stones are buried in weeds with no sign on any building. Honestly, the foundation stones are for hoodwinking people that the government has plans for development. In fact, development would have been very possible without so much corruption.
Indeed, fighting corruption needs extraordinary measures. Above all, the punishment for corruption must be painful so that it gives a warning to the people engaged in corruption. In Malawi, corruption that affects political leaders has naturally created a lot of expectations when it comes to justice.
Unfortunately, due to selective justice such cases simply drag on under the pretext that they are being investigated. Funny enough, even if the information is readily available, the cases are not concluded and the suspects continue to enjoy their loot. In the process corruption continues unabated.
Meanwhile, there has been a lot of mixed reactions when ACB stated that President Peter Mutharika did not benefit from the infamous case of a K145 million donation to DPP after a police food supply scandal. What is worrisome with this case is that it greatly contradicts with notion of fighting corruption in this country.
In fact, it actually promotes money laundering. People might be misled to think that they can use those in power to transfer money from undisclosed sources. If in a poor country such as Malawi, a donation of K145 million into an account that the President controls, does not worry him then who else can put a stop to corruption? Extraordinary measures are a must to control extraordinary corruption in Malawi.