Malawi’s graft busting body, the Anti- Corruption Bureau (ACB), has disclosed that it has so far completed investigating 75 Cashgate-related cases out of which 51 were found with issues liable of being prosecuted while 21 of them had no issues.
According to the bureau, the 24 cases which are not going to be prosecuted were those mainly involving contracts which were found to have been genuine.
In most of the Cashgate cases which are being prosecuted, different government officials are accused of having authorised payments for services which were never offered mostly by private institutions which, according to the ACB, played a larger role in the plunder of public funds at Capital Hill.
ACB officials, who appeared before the cluster of Public Appointments, Legal Affairs and Statutory Authorities committees, said it was difficult for the bureau to clearly project when the 25 cases that are still being handled would be concluded.
According to the officials, the cases have angles outside Malawi’s jurisdiction such that some issues have to be followed with other countries like the United States and South Africa.
ACB Director General Lucas Kondowe – who led his team that appeared before the lawmakers – reiterated that Malawi will continue finding it difficult to fight corruption if the battle is left to the graft-busting body alone.
“It is a terrible fight. It is a difficult fight that does not need spectators. Unfortunately, the feeling out there is that fighting corruption is something that has to be done by the Anti-Corruption Bureau alone,” said Kondowe.
He added that the National Anti- Corruption Strategy identifies eight key stakeholders who are part of the process of fighting corruption such as the Executive, the Judiciary, the Legislature, faith-based organisations, the media and the private sector.
The ACB, whose proposed budget allocation is K2.61 billion, says it is facing a number of challenges, including operating on old fleet and from rented office accommodation where it pays its rentals from the allocated budget.
Member of Parliament (MP) for Mwanza Central Davies Katsonga, who is a member of the cluster committee, urged the ACB to up its operations, saying there are a lot of low-salaried civil servants who are building mansions who need to be investigated.
However, Kondowe reiterated that under the Corrupt Practices Act, for the ACB to do this, they need to have information that corruption might have taken place.
A vibrant writer who gives a great insight on hot topics and issues