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Graft fight not easy—European Union

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SKINNEBACH—I think it’s an inherited culture

European Union (EU) Ambassador to Malawi Rune Skinnebach has said the fight against corruption in the country is difficult as the vice has manifested to be a culture.

Skinnebach said it is sad that Malawians take it as normal to receive handouts from their elected leaders as one way of paying back for their vote instead of asking for development.

The ambassador was commenting on President Lazarus Chakwera’s speech on businessman Zuneth Sattar’s alleged bribery of public officials.

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He said services that are supposed to be offered for free by government institutions are paid for, adding that Malawi is a country which needs time, consistency and resiliency in fighting corruption.

“Fighting corruption in this country is a big, mouthful [task]; it is difficult and I think it’s an inherited culture and [Malawi is] a handout country. People expect that the parliamentarian should be giving handouts rather than development.

“The people, if they have been stopped by the police, they try to get away by paying K2,000 instead of having a receipt for the fine. [For] services that have to be accessed by everybody, there is a reflex of paying money for the service which you are entitled to,” Skinnebach said

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The EU ambassador, who also speaks for development partners of the country said they will help the country in fighting corruption, adding that their relationship with Malawi has always been strong.

He has, however, asked journalists in the country not only to expose corrupt practices but also follow up with the suspects, in terms of how they accumulated their wealth and the source of the riches.

Meanwhile, Skinnebach has said he is sure that Chakwera has good reasons for withholding delegated functions to Vice-President Saulos Chilima, firing Inspector General of Police George Kainja, suspending State House Chief of Staff Prince Kapondamgaga and Board Chairperson of Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets John- Suzi Banda.

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