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Office of the President and Cabinet decries corruption

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Martha Chizuma

The Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) Monday decried high levels of corruption in the public and private sectors.

Deputy Secretary to the OPC Janet Banda said this at a Joint Institutional Integrity Committee Anti-corruption Awareness Campaign in Blantyre.

Banda said accepting corruption as a norm is one of the challenges the government is facing in the fight against the vice.

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“The major challenge is that corruption has become part of life for most Malawians such that, whether it is in the government, private sector or civil society organisations, people have accepted corruption as a way of life. That is why campaigns like this one are important if we are to root out the vice.

“It is important that we keep reminding each other that corruption is our enemy, such that it is not accepted here. Corruption has killed us; it has robbed us and, ultimately, it is the poor who pay the price of poor service delivery,” she said.

Anti-corruption awareness campaigns are one of the commitments made in the Executive Pillar of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy II, made during the National Anti- Corruption Conference which President Lazarus Chakwera hosted in July this year.

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Banda further bemoaned delays by some parastatals to establish institutional integrity committees (IICs), a practice she said would not be tolerated.

“We want all parastatals to have operational IICs in place. In fact we have asked the ACB [Anti-Corruption Bureau] to report any parastatal that has not operationalised an IIC so that we take action,” she said without spelling out the action.

ACB Director General Martha Chizuma said the bureau already reported errant parastatals to Parliament last month and that they were summoned.

“A week after they were summoned to Parliament, they took steps to have IICs in place. What remains is for us to engage them on capacity building. Of course, others have not complied and we are reporting them to OPC as required, “she said.

Up to 16 parastatals took part in the activity, held under the theme ‘Resetting the Moral Tone’.

The campaign started with a parade from Ginnery Corner all the way to Limbe and back to Kamuzu Upper Stadium.

Blantyre Water Board Commercial and Revenue Manager Ruth Gama, who is also chairperson for the board’s institutional integrity committee, said the board’s risk assessment showed that the fertile ground for corruption is in new connections.

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