Malawi: British Envoy Says If Malawi Is to Grow, Curb Corruption - 'There Is a Cartel'

10 December 2019

British High Commissioner Holly Tett says worsening corruption is impacting negavtively on the average Malawians that continue being subjected to sub-standard public service as well as loss of investments in the public sector.

She was speaking on behalf of development partners at the International Anti-Corruption Day in Mangochi held on Monday.

"We are speaking as true friends of Malawi, genuinely willing to share our experiences and ideas to overcome the scourge of corruption," said the UK envoy.

She added: "The reality is, if Malawi is not able to check corruption, it will further undermine your development agenda, erode trust within taxpayers, scare way investors and make it hard for development partners to continue delivering assistance to the country."

Tett also said there is a "cartel" of " politically-connected" individuals who operate within the private sector that push to win public procurement contracts.

She said corruption is an issue cutting across all sectors in Malawi and the United Kingdom (UK) has raised the matter with government on a number of occasions.

The development partners want institutions that cover corruption such as the Anti-Corruption Bureau [ACB] to be properly resourced and that the appointment process for people at the top of such organisations is transparent.

On his part, Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Bright Msaka said although corruption remains rampant in the country, government has put in place measures to control it.

"Yes, there is corruption but I can challenge that over the years, we have implemented interventions that have tackled it. We are still committed because as a country, we cannot afford to condone corruption," said Msaka who once serviced as Chief Secretary to Government and also previously was Malawi envoy to UK.

Corruption undermines social and economic development, impacts national security and affects the ability of millions of citizens to access adequate education, healthcare and other basic public services.

Human Rights Consultative Committee chairperson (HRCC), Maxwell Mkwezalamba, states that corruption has only made lives of poor Malawians worse.

"As a result of rampant corruption, the much needed support for clinics, bridges, provision of piped water, environmental and community-based development activities becomes disturbed. This results in the widening of the gap between the rich and the poor. Corruption retards growth and development and leads to substandard and poor quality work," Mkwezalamba is on record saying.

Malawi heavily relies on donor support such as the UK's Department for International Development (DfID).

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