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Lazarus Chakwera touts anti-corruption campaign

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Martha Chizuma

President Lazarus Chakwera Tuesday touted the anti-corruption campaign he launched during the National Anti- Corruption Conference as a game changer in the fight against graft.

During the campaign, which runs for 20 weeks to December when the country joins the rest of the world to commemorate the World Anti-Corruption Day, Chakwera wants to see a strong, consistent and uniform anti-corruption message ‘Corruption is our biggest enemy, and is not welcome here’ everywhere.

“This is our campaign message for the next 20 weeks. When we leave from this conference, those of us who are parents must tell our children that corruption is our biggest enemy and is not welcome here.

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“Those of us who are heads of institution must tell our subordinates that corruption is our biggest enemy and is not welcome here. Those of us who are government officials must declare in all our official meetings that corruption is our biggest enemy and is not welcome here,” the President said.

He extended the same message to those in business, traditional leaders, religious leaders, political leaders and media practitioners.

Chakwera then commended Anti-Corruption Bureau Director-General Martha Chizuma for putting up what he called a fierce fight against corruption and development partners especially United States of America and Britain for their support in the fight.

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In her remarks, Chizuma thanked the President for the financial and moral support, saying he has demonstrated his resolve in fighting the vice.

She said ACB needs all the constructive criticism, counsel and guidance it can get from technical experts in its anti-corruption drive.

“What your bureau doesn’t need and will not accept is to be coerced to ignore its mandate and forced to ignore clear incidents of corruption just because tackling them feels uncomfortable for others. What your Bureau will not do is to cower to the pressure to be used as a tool for political objectives regardless of where that pressure comes from.

“What your bureau will not do is to allow itself, as Charles Dickens, puts it to be ‘bound hand and foot’ to anti-corruption strategies, approaches and methods that have over time proved to be ineffective and responsible for the creation of the current situation which we are struggling with,” Chizuma said.

Chizuma admitted that corruption issues are complex and risky to handle at times.

“Most importantly, corruption fights back and fights back fiercely as all of us have witnessed and continue witnessing today,” she said.

The National Anti- Corruption Conference was themed ‘Resetting the Nation’s Moral Tone’.

On the final day of the conference, various groups and institutions, through their representatives, made commitments to fight the vice.

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