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Government living in denial on corruption—EAM

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The Evangelical Association of Malawi (EAM) through its Ethics, Peace and Justice Commission (EPJC) has accused government of living in denial about the high prevalence rate of corrupt practices in the country.

EAM has said in a statement that certain developments at the recent National Anti-Corruption Conference in Lilongwe were reflective of a government that is bent on shielding its public and political officers involved in the malpractice.

The religious grouping wonders why government is having a hard time in accepting the realities surrounding the situation of corruption in the wake of various compelling evidence on the same.

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Co-signed by National Chairperson Zacc Kawalala and Secretary Makhumbo Munthali of EPJC on April 27, the statement refers to the theme of the conference ‘corruption in Malawi a reality or perception’ as one sign that government is not willing to accept the situation and fight it head-on.

“It is in our considered view, and indeed the collective views of all Malawians of goodwill, that the question of whether corruption is a reality or perception is an already established one or in other words a closed chapter. Corruption is not only a reality but a serious form of injustice that offends human dignity with its far-reaching and devastating effects…” reads part of the statement.

Citing an example of the Anti-Corruption Bureau’s (ACB) failure to arrest former minister of Agriculture George Chaponda, Kawalala and Munthali have added voice to calls for reduction of presidential powers as regards the appointment of director of the bureau.

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They say it is apparent that the bureau’s complacency on the matter is way of appeasing the appointing authority [Mutharika] who they also accuse of shielding Chaponda by taking long to act on him despite being presented with evidence of his suspicious involvement in the Malawi-Zambia maize deal.

“Government should implement the existing recommendations of the reduction of powers of the President, particularly on the public appointments including ACB director. The powers of the President must be trimmed, especially as regards to the appointment of Anti-Corruption Bureau director as already recommended by various actors including Public Affairs Committee,” reads the statement in part.

The EAM’s statement corroborates remarks by Speaker of the National Assembly Richard Msowoya who told delegates to the Lilongwe conference that the theme showed that there is no profound acknowledgement by authorities that corruption exists among Malawians.

Msowoya also touched on the need to free the ACB by reworking on the President’s appointing prerogative by saying it is difficult to act professionally when one feels they owe their position to someone’s benevolence.

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