By Feston Malekezo
Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) Director-General (DG) Martha Chizuma has cast doubts on the realisation of Malawi’s long-term development blueprint, dubbed Malawi (Mw) 2063, at the rate corruption is manifesting itself in the country.
Chizuma said, looking at the number of cases the bureau was handling and amount of money involved, the country had a long way to go to win the battle against the vice.
She said this in Mzuzu yesterday, when she addressed journalists ahead of this year’s International Anti-Corruption Day commemorations, which are scheduled for tomorrow.
This year’s Corruption Awareness month, which started on November 8 and ends on December 9, is being commemorated under the theme ‘Integrity: The Key To A Corruption-free Malawi’.
The ACB head argued that the aspirations inscribed in the country’s socio-economic blueprint needed to be oiled by public funds but that, unfortunately, some of the resources were being lost to corruption.
“From where we are sitting as a bureau, when we look at the amount of money that is being lost [to corruption], I keep on saying that let’s just forget about all these dreams we have for Malawi; dreams about [having a] prosperous Malawi, about [becoming a] middle-income country by 2063 because all that needs investment— it needs public money going into social services like schools, roads, urbanisation of farming and whatever we need.
“However, if we continue at this rate, the rate at which we are committing these corrupt acts… then let’s just forget about Malawi 2063. If we want to be talking about Malawi 2063, let’s stop corruption,” she said.
Chizuma said the bureau had opened 30 case files in relation to the selling of farm inputs under the Affordable Inputs Programme.
Thomas Munthali, the DG at the National Planning Commission (NPC)— which is spearheading implementation of Mw2063— said Chizuma’s sentiments should be treated as a word of caution.
He said fighting corruption required the adoption of a multi-sectoral approach.
The NPC DG added that, as part of fighting corruption through strategic planning, the Mw2063 10-year implementation plan outlined strategies tailor-made to fight corruption.
“She [Chizuma] is somebody who believes that we, as a country, are geared to achieve Malawi 2063 but the statement she is making is really to caution that if we mobilise resources, we must be careful in utilising them; otherwise, if resources are lost to corruption, we might have huge challenges in terms of how quick we are going to meet our aspirations. So it’s caution on her part and I think it should not be taken lightly,” Munthali said.
The Corruption Perceptions Index in Malawi decreased to 30 Points in 2020 from 31 Points in 2019. The maximum level was 41 Index Points and the minimum was 27 Index Points.