The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) director-general has called on every Malawian to join the fight against corruption, arguing the poor rating his institution gets is based on partisan basis.
The ACB director-general Lucas Kondowe in an interview in Mangochi where ACB was for the first time hosting a Commonwealth Review Conference of Heads of Anti-Corruption Agencies in Africa said politics has contributed to ACB’s poor ratings in the fight against corruption.
Kondowe said the corrupt busting body has professionals who investigate all matters independently, attributing the last 31 percent corruption rating for Malawi by Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index as politically driven.
He said the trend has been like that where opposition politicians would always accuse governing politicians of being corrupt.
“But we have one Malawi and we have to be united if we are to root out corruption. We can all agree that corruption is evil. Instead of pointing fingers at each other, let us all come together and fight this evil,” said the ACB boss.
Kondowe said the dent being caused on Malawi has far-reaching consequences, including development partners losing trust in the country.
The ACB director-general said the conference, the seventh of its kind, was a relevant tool for Malawi to learn different experiences, especially coming after the country experienced the worst plunder of public funds that came to be widely known as Cashgate during the administration of former President Joyce Banda from April 2012 to May 2014.
In his presentation at the conference, South African multiaward winning investigative journalist, Mzilikazi wa Afrika, who is also author of the bestseller memoir titled Nothing Left to Steal, said corruption in Africa has become like a national sport where politicians gamble with taxes and natural resources to enrich their cronies and relatives.
“The scourge of corruption in our continent has derailed our progress as a nation and denied our people the full benefits of independence and freedom that they really deserve.
“Of course, I must admit that the plunder didn’t start on March 6 1957 when Ghana became the black African country to gain its independence but rampant poverty has been there from time immemorial,” he said.
The journalist said many Africans thought independence would bring to an end the looting but said they have been conned by their own heroes, men and women, who fought for their freedoms.
“Today, in South Africa, we have a president who has 783 charges of corruption hanging over his head, he was found to have violated the constitution of the country by the highest court in the land and has turned a blind eye, when his friends, a little unknown family from India, who played no role in our struggle for freedom, are stealing South Africa brick by brick and looting everything piece by piece,” wa Afrika said.
He said corruption is not about accepting a bribe to give someone a lucrative tender but it is also about turning a blind eye to unlawful and unethical behaviour and practices.