The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has blamed failure by the citizens to report corruption cases to the bureau for fuelling the recently discovered Capital Hill cashgate.
The bureau also said some members of the public continue to suffer in silence in the face of corruption, sometimes for fear of victimisation.
ACB director Rizine Mzikamanda said this in Lilongwe on Wednesday when he addressed the 2014 commemoration of the National Anti-corruption Day, which was also attended by President Joyce Banda.
“Stories are told that some knew about the extensive looting of government resources at Capital Hill as it took place, but chose to remain silent about it for various reasons until the discoveries in the last few months,” said Mzikamanda.
The ACB boss said there is continued abuse of office in the public service where numerous claims for payment or allowances are made for no service or travel at all.
Mzikamanda said stories are told of parts of monthly funding being committed to paying allowances for persons even though they never undertook any official travel.
“Yet many remain silent about these abuses. Of course the bureau has a duty to follow through those stories to establish the truth about them,” he said.
The 2006 Governance and Corruption Baseline Survey, according to Mzikamanda, established that the vast majority of those who observed corrupt acts did not report them.
He also said the 2010 Governance and Corruption Survey found that citizens failed to report corruption mainly because they did not know where to report corruption or were concerned about potential harassment, while most public officials felt the cases could not be proved or the process was too long and complex.
This year’s commemorations were held under the theme ‘break the silence; stop corruption.’