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Bite harder, UK urges Anti-Corruption Bureau

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British High Commissioner to Malawi Holly Tett has challenged the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to flex its muscles further and ensure all cases are investigated to their logical conclusions.

After being persistently damned for apparently treating with a laissez-faire attitude those suspected to have engaged in corruption, the ACB has somehow salvaged its reputation after it pounced on Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development George Chaponda on Tuesday.

The raid on Chaponda’s Lilongwe’s Area 43 residence and his City Centre office followed recommendations by two inquiries that the former cabinet minister be probed further for the role he played in the procurement of maize from Zambia.

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Stashes of both local and foreign currencies reportedly in excess of K160 million was found in Chaponda’s house.

During an interaction with the media and public relations practitioners in Lilongwe on Thursday night, Tett said the ACB’s recent acts raise some hope that fighting corruption in Malawi could be on track.

On the other hand, the envoy indicated that the graft-busting body would further buttress its mandate by extending it to everyone suspected to have been involved in corrupt practices.

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“What I would really like to see is the Anti-Corruption Bureau continuing to investigate other cases that are on its files and even those that are not yet there. It needs to be properly resourced and allowed to do its job professionally.

“I would really love to see the ACB and other institutions involved in fighting corruption being given priority when it comes to resourcing. Malawi is on a positive trajectory, but all this needs to be improved and carried on in order to really tackle corruption,” said Tett.

Interim General Secretary of the Public Relations Society of Malawi Telephorus Chigwenembe challenged reporters to be objective in the stories they write so that they earn respect from the public.

Chigwenembe also observed that one of the most critical issues which reporters must consider is to avoid being swayed to the side of ‘benefactors’ who often have ways of controlling the media.

“Whatever story you pursue, especially those sensitive stories, different people will have different types of interests, but the most important thing is to remain as objective as you can without displaying any traces of special interest in your story,” said Chigwenembe.

The interaction was supported by the Technical, Entrepreneurial and Vocational Education and Training Authority (Teveta).

Regional Teveta Service Centre Manager, Victor Luwambala, said the institution appreciates that journalists have a critical responsibility in ensuring Malawians are abreast of what is happening.

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