CCAP Synod of Livingstonia and Centre for the Development of People (Cedep) have said the worsening corruption in Malawi is due to “impunity and arrogance by the highest office and the passiveness of Malawians”.
The church and Cedep have since observed that the situation has put the country in a crisis needing serious reforms to deal with the problem.
Synod general secretary the Reverend Levi Nyondo and Cedep executive director Gift Trapence said this yesterday in separate interviews in reaction to last week’s Transparency International (TI) Corruption Index which showed that corruption has worsened in the country.
The index shows that Malawi has moved up eight places from position 112 in 2012 to 120 in 2016.
In an e-mailed response to a questionnaire, Trapence said the rise is a result of lack of leadership commitment to fight against corruption, adding, what is failing the fight against corruption is lack of political will, especially by the President.
He said: “If we have impunity and arrogance coming from the highest office desisting to fight corruption, nothing in this country will move. If we are to stamp out corruption, we need real commitment from the President to walk the talk by not shielding people close to him.
“What has killed this country is that corruption is entrenched within party political systems, as such, whenever a political party comes into power, they think it is their ‘turn to eat’. As a result, there is a lot of political interference in most of the parastatal institutions from so-called ruling party loyalists who become more powerful than the President himself.”
Trapence emphasised the need to revisit provisions that deal with the appointment and confirmation of heads of parastatals, including having an independent appointing body for the director of the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) that has no political affiliations so that corruption can be contained.
Commenting on the issue, Reverend Nyondo noted that “some people in the country think they are above the law, so much so that they have no regard on stealing public money.”
He said: “We are not serious in dealing with corruption. We have been singing this song long enough, and we must change.
“We have invested in the fight against corruption, but there are no fruits to show that we are winning the fight. We need reforms from top to bottom, don’t just apply the fight on the poor.”
Nyondo also said the synod was not impressed with progress of cases relating to corruption.
In an earlier interview, Malawi Law Society (MLS) president John Suzi-Banda said Malawi is losing the fight against corruption, adding, “there is bankruptcy of leadership in the fight against corruption, the efforts are half-hearted and lukewarm.
“The institutions that are mandated to fight corruption have systematically been weakened and the officers charged with these functions are highly compromised. I think every well-meaning Malawian knows this. Those that can dispute this either don’t know what’s happening in their own country or are benefiting from these criminal activities,” he said.
Speaking at a rally in Mzuzu on December 22 last year, President Peter Mutharika said he is aware that his government is accused of being the most corrupt in Malawi’s history and that it is selective in dealing with Cashgate cases.
Said Mutharika:” Let me appeal to every Malawian, whether it is a member of Parliament like that one from here who speaks very disturbing and confusing things, civil society, or that newspaper that is always attacking me, I won’t mention its name, if you know of anybody, if you have names of the seven ministers or anybody in my government involved in corruption, give me a name and I will make sure that I deal with those people. I want to challenge that, because I am
tired, I am very, very tired of this kind of nonsense. Give a name or shut up.” n