Malawi budgets for corruption— Martha Chizuma
Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) Director General Martha Chizuma has said Malawi essentially budgets for corruption when it passes national budgets.
Chizuma said this in Lilongwe Tuesday, when the Malawi Institute of Procurement and Supply (MIPS) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the ACB aimed at curbing corruption in procurement processes.
She said over 70 percent of national budget resources go towards procurement.
She said procurement constitutes the largest number of cases handled by the ACB.
“Seventy percent of our budget goes to procurement and, basically, when we say that more than 70 percent of the cases we see here are procurement related, it means that most of the money that is being budgeted for various services is going into corruption
“So, basically, when Malawi is budgeting, it means that, sadly, they are budgeting for corruption and this is what we need to sort out. It cannot be like that anymore,” Chizuma said.
She observed that with most of the cases arising from procurement, it clearly shows that there is a problem in procurement and that coming together with MIPS may help the country find solutions to the vice.
On March 30, members of Parliament passed the K3.788 trillion 2023-24 national budget.
Initially, the budget was pegged at K3.87 trillion but Finance Minister Sosten Gwengwe had to revise it down to reflect realities on the ground in the aftermath of Tropical Cyclone Freddy.
MIPS Chief Executive Officer Feston Kaupa said his organisation is committed to fighting corruption in the procurement space.
Kaupa said, sometimes, procurement officials are coerced to do unprofessional things by powerful people in the system.
Kaupa said the MoU has detailed what procurement officials must do when coerced by powerful officials.
“The MoU that we have signed will promote the sharing of information on specific members that ACB is investigating but, beyond that, we will also be sharing knowledge because we are the professional procurement institution while ACB are into corruption investigations.
“From the ACB side, we also expect them to share with us information on how our members can prevent corruption because, as you are aware, some of procurement-led corruption happens when some of our members are coerced. They operate under undue influence. They operate under threats,” Kaupa said.