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Malawi slips further on corruption index

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BOTOMANI—The government has provided a conducive
environment—

Malawi has slipped further by three steps on the 2019 Corruption Perception Index (CPI) released by Transparency International Thursday.

Malawi now stands on position 123 out of 180 global countries, down from position 120 in 2018.

This is the seventh consecutive year Malawi’s corruption perception has been performing dismally since 2012.

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In 2013, Malawi slipped on the index from position 88 to 91; in 2014 it plummeted to position 110; in 2015 the country slipped to position 111 while in 2016 it fell to position 120.

In 2017, Malawi’s corruption perception deteriorated further to position 122 before slightly improving in 2018 to 120.

The government’s spokesperson, Mark Botomani, said although Transparency International measures corruption perceptions and not corruption, the government takes the report very seriously.

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“It must, however, be emphasised that since the [Peter] Mutharika administration took over the reigns of power in 2014, the government has maintained its stand on zero tolerance to corruption and the status quo has not changed. [The] government has ensured that there is no interference in the running of governance institutions such as the Anti- Corruption Bureau (ACB).

“Furthermore, the government has provided a conducive environment to these institutions to work freely and funding has been consistent and has also been increased over time,” Botomani said.

Malawi Integrity Platform National Coordinator, Jeff Kabondo, Thursday said more needs to be done to fight corruption in the country.

“To reduce corruption and restore trust in politics, Transparency International recommends that government should reinforce checks and balances and promote separation of powers.

“Tackle preferential treatment to ensure budgets and public services aren’t driven by personal connections or biased towards special interests as well as control political financing to prevent excessive money and influence in politics,” Kabondo said.

He added that there is need to regulate lobbying activities by promoting open and meaningful access to decision-making.

“Empower citizens and protect activists, whistleblowers and journalists,” Kabondo said.

African Institute of Corporate Citizenship Chief Executive Officer, Felix Lombe, said the continued fall in the country’s perception is a clear manifestation that the country is not doing enough to curb corruption.

“The authorities have always said they are doing their best to curb corruption in the country. But the continued slip shows that their efforts are not enough. They need to do more,” Lombe said.

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