EU ambassador urges for patience with ACB
By Deogratias Mmana:
The European Union (EU) ambassador to Malawi Rune Skinnebach has said dark forces and smart guys are involved in corruption making it difficult to get evidence ready for prosecution.
He has since asked Malawians to have patience with the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB).
Skinnebach said this in an exclusive interview with Malawi News on Thursday at his residence in Lilongwe after his interface with the media on EU’s support towards the cholera outbreak.
We engaged the ambassador on his expectations after the reinstatement of the ACB Director General Martha Chizuma.
Skinnebach, while calling for patience, stressed the need for the ACB to give results and show progress in the fight against corruption.
“We should control our patience a little bit because we know in Malawi and elsewhere it is very difficult to get proof to proceed with prosecution. There are smart guys out there.
“It is a difficult fight. There are a lot of dark forces out there. There are lots of people with vested interests in the current corruption regime and so you need a balanced approach and be pragmatic.
“I hope we will see results, progress in the near future. Therefore, we have to be patient but absolutely we need to see people behind bars,” Skinnebach said.
Skinnebach said President Lazarus Chakwera made a commitment to fight corruption and that the donor community is ready to support the fight.
“But commitment is not enough. We need to see results, we need to see progress and this is what everybody is expecting and longing for,” the ambassador said.
He added: “What we development partners want to see is that Malawi wins over corruption and that the monies going to schools, health system, providing for the poor are not being stolen by those who should not have it and anything we can do to help this fight are ready to step in.”
He asked the ACB to push their mandate to get results.
When he appeared before the Joint Parliamentary Budget Cluster on Legal Affairs and Government Assurances on Thursday, ACB deputy director Hilary Chilomba said the bureau expects to face tough times in the coming fiscal year because it has had its budgetary allocation on paper.
He said the bureau faces lack of specific funding for the implementation of National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS11).
He said the bureau had to divert some funds for operations for the strategy because it is important and that affected operations.
Chilonga said the bureau will face the same problem in the 2023-2024 financial year as the Treasury has not provided specific funding for the NACS11 implementation despite increasing allocation to the bureau to K7.29 billion from K6.31 billion in the 2022-2023 fiscal year.