By Macdonald Thom:
Former African Union (AU) chairperson, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, has urged African countries to be vigilant in fighting corruption.
Zuma was speaking in Lilongwe on Tuesday during celebrations marking the 17th Anniversary of the AU.
She said countries should pay attention to winning the fight against corruption, as it is the AU’s theme this year.
“We must also not be blind to the fact that the scourge of corruption is not exclusive to the public sector but various reports, including on illicit financial flows, have shown that the private sector and some donor sectors are involved. So we should fight corruption wherever it is,” she said.
This year ’s AU theme is ‘Winning the Fight against Corruption: A Sustainable Path to Africa’s transformation.’
Zuma also said there was need to strengthen law enforcement and corruption-combating institutions.
“In strengthening these institutions, we must also take advantage of lessons we can learn from each other while also paying attention to strengthening the union’s capacity to support us in strengthening our institutions,” she said.
At the function, the AU also celebrated the centenary of former South Africa president and global icon Nelson Mandela and anti-apartheid activist Albertina Sisulu, both deceased.
Chief Secretary to the Government, Lloyd Muhara, said it was important to celebrate Mandela and Sisulu’s legacies.
“Through Mandela’s non-violent approach, we realise that, we as human beings, can acquire freedom through non-violent means. His legacy will continue to provide inspiration to many,” Muhara said.
He also hailed Sisulu for promoting education for women and the less-privileged.
AU Regional Delegate to Southern Africa, Leopold Auguste Ngomo, said Mandela and Sisulu were pan-Africanists.
“Pan-Africanism is the main reason of what we are doing. We have been asking ourselves: ‘Why don’t we use the story of Nelson Mandela?’ He was a good pan- Africanist.
“We, therefore, merged the two events. Achieving, that is a challenge. We are good at talking about pan-Africanism and not good at implementing it,” he said.
African Union Day falls on September 9.
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