Malawi President Mutharika Says 'I'm Tired of Corruption in This Country'

Malawi President Peter Mutharika.
12 December 2017

President Peter Mutharika has warned that he will not tolerate anyone engaging in corruption whether in government or not, pledging he will support the fight against corruption in its totality.

Mutharika was speaking at police headquarters in Lilongwe on Monday when he officially received 100 police vehicles from the People's Republic of China.

The Malawi leadearsaid he is tired of reports of corruption especially involving those handling government projects and called for care and fair distribution of the vehicles; 10 minibuses, 60 pickups, 15 saloon and 10 wagons.

"Police cannot function without efficient transport. I urge the Inspector General of police to make sure these vehicles are taken good care of and distributed fairly. I do not want any corruption in this; neither must I hear that the vehicles have been sold out dubiously.

"I am tired of corruption in this country. If I happen to catch such corrupt individuals, I will deal with them. Every project we are carrying out in this country, some selfish individuals want to get something out of it. That must stop," he warned.

Mutharika said corruption cannot be fought successfully without the involvement of the general public.

The remarks comes after Malawi development partners say the country continues to be significantly more corrupt and have urged the government to step up efforts to fight against corrupt gangsters in the corridors of power.

Heads of Mission of Britain, United States of America, Ireland, Germany, Norway, Japan, European Union and Union Nations gave a candid assessment of the fight against corruption in a statement to mark UN-designated International Anti-Corruption Day on December 9.

The donors pointed out that corruption is a barrier to poverty reduction - diverting scarce resources away from healthcare, schools and water provision. It affects critical capital investments, like roads and power generation. Corruption is a disincentive for private sector investment, economic growth and jobs.

" We recognise that the Malawian Government has made efforts such as improvements in public finance management, laws on Access to Information, Financial Crimes and, recently, Political Parties. Effective implementation of these laws is critical, now," said the statement.

The development partners said "further reforms" are also needed.

They noted that indicators on corruption still show "a negative trend" and there are continuous reports of fraud, often related to procurement.

Graft-busting body Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) must be able to pursue all cases without "undue influence", the statement said.

" Tackling corruption requires a concerted effort: all public institutions need to ensure strong controls are in place and that civil servants are held to account," the statement said.

" The Procurement Act should be put into practice as a priority, including merit-based recruitment of staff of the new Public Procurement Authority. All accountability institutions should be adequately resourced to fulfil their mandate effectively," they urged.

Meanwhile, Mutharika hailed China for the support it has rendered to Malawi in the ten years of diplomatic relationship.

The support from China is not tied to conditions of good governance and tenents of democracy unlike the West.

Chinese deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chen Xiaodong said "more and more Chinese are coming to Malawi for investment and as tourists, we are committed to boosting security in this country for the benefit of people from both nations."

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