Lilongwe — President Dr. Joyce Banda made a bold statement on Wednesday, saying she would rather lose the elections than put her fellow Malawians in danger.
Banda said this at Bingu International Conference Centre (BICC) where she presided over the tenth Anti Corruption Day Commemoration and the commissioning of the new members of the National Integrity Committee.
"I have chosen to fight against corruption in this country though I have been advised not to because we are drawing closer to this year's Tripartite Elections. I know I am fighting against people who are smarter, wealthier and advanced," she said.
She disclosed that the Liberian President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf had advised her to resist from fighting corruption and concentrate on politics knowing that this was an elections period.
Banda further pointed out that perpetual corrupt practices happen when people choose to be silent.
"This is not a new phenomenon; corruption has always been there since Malawi became an independent nation. We only choose not to speak about it," she said.
"We need to start fighting corruption from individual, household, community to national level. This is not a Government, President or Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB)'s war. It is everybody's war," she stressed.
The President noted the challenges that the ACB was facing hence the special monetary funding for acceleration of corruption and graft investigations.
"The ACB must expand to deal with modern corruption. In order to do so, we must have enough and trained personnel. My Government will be opening a new ACB office in Zomba," she revealed.
However, she said some individuals were frustrating the government's efforts in its war on corruption through the cash gate scandal.
She then commended the ACB and the international investigators for their great work in cash gate investigations.
"Make no mistakes, no government would allow to involve international organisations in fighting graft and corruption like we have done," President Banda said while noting that most African countries were still scared to combat corruption.
Banda further disclosed that she was aware that the evidence is been tampered with by other people for their political and other agendas.
"My government is committed to fighting corruption. We are taking a holistic approach and a globalised mindset. There will be no sacred cows," she said.
The National Integrity Committee which is now being chaired by Paramount Chief Kyungu Mwakawanga III (the third) is expected to work with Ministry of Good Governance in the Office of the President and the Anti Corruption Bureau.
Anti Corruption Day is celebrated on 5 February every year and this year the day was celebrated under the theme "Break the silence: Stop Corruption."