Malawi Has Slipped Further Backwards On Corruption Fight, Transparency International Report Says

(file photo).
23 January 2020

Malawi has once again scored poorly on the fight against corruption and bribery with latest studies showing the country has slipped from 120 to 123 on the global Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI).

The 2019 CPI, which is conducted by Transparency International, reveals that a majority of countries, including Malawi, are showing little to no improvement in tackling corruption.

The index ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, according to experts and business people. It uses a scale of zero to 100, where zero is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean.

More than two-thirds of countries score below 50 on the 2019 CPI, with an average score of just 43.

The report says similar to previous years, the data shows that despite some progress, a majority of countries are still failing to tackle public sector corruption effectively.

African Institute for Corporate Citizenship (AICC)-hosted Integrity Platform coordinator, Jeff Kabondo, who presented the CPI report in Lilongwe on Thursday, said Malawi is stuck in corruption such that it would require authorities to rise above petty political rhetoric on corruption fight.

"Generally, Malawi hasn't performed well. We seem to be stuck. Last year, the country scored 31; this year we have scored 32. On the global ranking, Transparency International has ranked us 123, which means the global perception on our corruption fight is getting worse and worse," said Kabondo.

He said some of the issues considered when ranking a country are electoral integrity, political financing, political campaign based on misinforming the voters and nepotism in the public service.

Kabondo therefore emphasised the need for Malawi to create robust systems of political financing, electoral integrity, transparency and accountability if the country is to improve its global perception on corruption.

He said keeping big money out of politics is essential to ensuring political decision-making serves the public interest and curbing opportunities for corrupt deals.

"Countries that perform well on the CPI have strong enforcement of campaign finance regulations," said Kabondo.

AICC chief executive officer Dr Felix Lombe said it is sad that Malawi continues to slip deep into corruption trap.

Lombe appealed to authorities to seriously consider tackling the vice to avoid chasing potential investors.

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