The Public Affairs Committee (PAC) has challenged the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to exercise its mandate in line with the country’s constitutional obligations as demanded by the people.
This comes against a general low perception on the graft-busting body’s ability to fight corruption in the country with the donor community and civil society organisations already expressing serious concerns.
In a communiqué issued Wednesday, PAC has advised ACB to demonstrate seriousness by operating in a free, fair and credible manner if corruption is to be eliminated.
“ACB leadership should refrain from practices that may put the whole machinery in disrepute,” reads the communiqué issued following the body’s annual general meeting (AGM) held in Blantyre on December 20, 2016 under the theme: “Taking a Stand against Corrupt Practices in Malawi.”
PAC said through its prophetic role and moral authority to guide its followers against corrupt tendencies, its leadership, mother bodies and membership would play their rightful role in standing firm against corruption in the country.
PAC said it would follow-up on the leadership and authorities’ commitment towards the fight against corruption by bringing to justice all those named in corruption reports.
“All outstanding cases of corruption that are either in court or under investigation should be handled with speed and perpetrators should be brought to book in accordance with the laws of our country and principles of natural justice. Mere rhetoric with little action will not bring any results in the fight against corruption. It is time to walk the talk,” reads the communiqué co-signed by chairperson Reverend Felix Chingota and publicity secretary Father Peter Mulomole.
The quasi-religious body is also asking different arms of government to monitor all public work financed by public resources to ensure they meet acceptable standards.
Minister of Information and Communication Technology Nicholas Dausi declined to comment, saying he had not yet seen the statement.
Speaking in Lilongwe during the launch of a Fraud and Corruption Prevention Policy for the judiciary in November last year, ACB deputy director Reyneck Matemba confessed that the bureau had lost public confidence.
Matemba said the public mistrust in the bureau was well-deserved due to its shortcomings and weaknesses.
Several commentators have expressed concern suggesting that the graft-busting body “is morally compromised” and its operations were no longer relevant to the society. n