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Anti-Corruption Bureau bemoans lack of resources

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By Mandy Pondani:

Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has complained that lack of resources was one of the major challenges it faced in implementing the five-year of National Anti-Corruption Strategy (Nacs).

ACB Director, Reyneck Matemba, said this in Mzuzu on Monday during a review meeting of the strategy, which ran from 2009 to 2014.

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Matemba said, through the strategy, institutional integrity committees were set up in all government departments and institutions but faced operational challenges due to lack of funds.

“The good thing is that when we told the government about it, a circular was released asking all controlling officers to set aside one percent of their total budgets to support the committees,” he said.

Matemba also observed that, in the course of the lifespan of the Nacs, there was no public ownership, which contributed to isolated efforts in the fight against corruption.

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Going forward, the ACB boss said the bureau has incorporated the youth, women and the academia in the strategy following concerns of uncoordinated efforts in the fight against corruption.

“We want the youth to be highlighted because they are in the majority. They are the agents of change. They are both the present and future leaders of this country. They have all reasons and responsibility to set a bright future for themselves by taking part in anti-corruption initiatives,” Matemba said.

He then dispelled reports that the bureau has failed to probe corruption in some departments such as the Malawi Defence Force and the Judiciary, saying no institution in the country is sacred.

In a separate interview, human rights activist Charles Kajoloweka said ACB struggled to implement Nacs due to reasons such as structural challenges.

“We have pieces of legislation which continuously limit the independence of the bureau, and we have seen it struggling in terms of its performance. Need we say that the resource support towards the bureau leaves a lot to be desired?” Kajoloweka said.

He decried that, being in the majority, young people have over time become prime victims of corruption in the country.

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