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‘Peter Mutharika’s graft fight weak’

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President Peter Mutharika has come under fire for leaving the fight against corruption to fate.

Chancellor College Political Scientist, Boniface Dulani, and Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) yesterday criticised Mutharika for leaving problems to solve themselves thus failing to inspire confidence in Malawians.

“This country is not led by fate. He cannot leave our problems in the hands of fate. [It is up to] the DPP government to find solutions to the problems in the country because we employed them and we are paying them very well. If they think they have failed, let them resign and give space to others that can provide solutions,” Dulani said.

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He was commenting on Mutharika’s helplessness on the feared corruption in the forthcoming Farm Input Subsidy Programme (Fisp) which will be implemented by private companies.

And Deputy Inspector General of Police, Rodney Jose, warned last week at a meeting in Lilongwe that this year’s Fisp risks being marred by corruption as government has given private companies the mandate to implement it.

Asked on Friday at a news conference at Kamuzu Palace on whether there was anything government would do to ensure that poor villagers are protected from the corruption and varied prices that are expected in the Fisp implementation, Mutharika sounded helpless.

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“I know Fisp is a problem. We have tried teachers, religious leaders, the police… to fight corruption [in Fisp] but it has not worked. Now what do you want me to do? I ask people to be patriotic,” said Mutharika.

Dulani said the DPP in its 2014 manifesto in chapter four, vowed to pursue a zero-olerance stance on corruption because corruption is the enemy of growth and prosperity among others. Dulani said corruption can be defeated if there is political will.

“The late Bingu wa Mutharika chased vendors away from the streets and it happened although they returned later. The problem is sometimes leaders have a resigned attitude. He should not lead the country on resigned fate. This country is not led by fate,” Dulani said.

CCJP National Secretary Martin Chiphwanya said Mutharika needs to come up with clear strategies his government will employ to fight corruption. He accused Mutharika of failing to give inspiration and confidence to the people.

“While we appreciate the complexity and magnitude of corruption in our country, it is so surprising and discouraging to hear these sentiments. Leaders should at all times strive to inspire confidence by outlining mechanisms put in place to address the problems that we face,” Chiphwanya said.

“Corruption has greatly dented the image of our country and it is only right and proper that authorities ably articulate strategies put in place to fight the same. Public confidence can only be attained if our leaders are emphatic about what needs to be done

“The President needs to be inspiring in these matters. Otherwise, the fight against corruption will be lost completely. He needs to come out clearly on concrete steps being undertaken by his administration to curb the vice. Failure to come out clearly will certainly put his administration’s will and determination to fight graft under heavy scrutiny.”

Mutharika has come under fire from some of the cooperating partners, Malawi Law Society, civil society organisations and others for failing to show zeal in the fight against corruption since he took power in 2014. The Anti Corruption Bureau has been described as a toothless dog which is protecting the current regime.

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