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Governance institutions failing Malawians— CSOs

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FOR COORDINATION—
Kajoloweka

Three civil society organisations (CSOs) have faulted governance institutions for failing to deliver quality services, citing poor coordination as one of the factors fuelling the trend.

The CSOs—Centre for Social Accountability and Transparency (Csat), Youth and Society (Yas) and Church and Society of the Livingstonia Synod of the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian— have singled out the Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA), Office of the Director of Public Officers Declaration (Odpod), Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) as some of the State bodies that have failed to tick.

This has come to light amid revelations of under-declaration of assets by public officials, lack of sanctions on public officers who fail to declare their assets and revelations of dubious deals where millions of tax payers’ money is wired to foreign countries.

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Csat Executive Director Willy Kambwandira said there is a long way to go for the country to uproot corruption and recover assets that are suspected to have been obtained dubiously.

He cites the wiring of K750 million meant for fertiliser to a firm abroad as one of the indicators of poor adherence to requisite laws.

He said, instead of countering such moves, the FIA failed to do so.

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“It is also clear that Odpod has failed to put measures that will clear the path for senior government officials, including law-makers, who acquire wealth through fraud and money laundering to be punished.

“These are clear signs that we have governance institutions that are compromised,” Kambwandira said.

Livingstonia Church and Society Programme Executive Director Moses Mkandawire concurred with Kambwandira.

He further faulted poor coordination among State agencies for frustrating the fight against corruption.

“Law enforcement agencies ought to be coordinating in order to be effective in the delivery of their services. The Director of Public Prosecutions, the ACB, the Office of the Attorney General, the Financial Intelligence Authority , the Fiscal Police, Odpod, etc, are supposed to work together, failing which the whole issue of fighting corruption or ensuring asset recovery will just be lip service,” Mkandawire said.

On his part, Yas Executive Director Charles Kajoloweka accused law enforcement agencies of giving Malawians a raw deal.

However, Odpod officer Patrick Zaipa admitted that the law does not empower them to sanction public officers who fail to declare their assets without reasonable cause.

However, Director of Public Prosecutions Steven Kayuni dismissed the notion that State agencies are working in isolation.

“The Law Enforcement Coordination Strategy speaks to the law enforcement agencies working as one team and not in isolation. The enforcement agency framework speaks to non-fragmentation and we believe that this should be the cherished goal for all institutions,” Kayuni said.

ACB spokesperson Egrita Ndala said the graft-busting body was not compromised and was delivering services in line with its mandate.

“Would you please give examples of areas the ACB has been in the so-called compromise” Ndala said.

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