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UK envoy calls for boldness

British High Commissioner to Malawi Michael Nevin has said the public service and financial management reforms that the country is currently implementing are slowly working but there is need for bold and faster implementation if they are to achieve the intended purpose.

Speaking to Times Television Exclusive host Brian Banda after touring Times Group premises in Blantyre on Monday, Nevin said Secretary to the Treasury Ronald Mangani’s tough stance on the use of finances in government departments is an encouraging action.

“The real question should be, are the reforms sufficient if we think of where Malawi is going to be in the next 25 years? Obviously there is need for more. We can say the reforms are slowly working if what the Secretary to the Treasury is doing in promoting better public finance management system is anything to go by,” he said adding that Malawi needs a stronger vision on what should be achieved in the next 25 years.

On Cashgate handling, Nevin —who will be leaving Malawi for Iceland in August this year—said there seems to be progress in terms of prosecution but the country needs to put strict prevention measures to ensure that Cashgate never happens again.

He also said people need to be patient on the K577 billion Cashgate as independent auditors are doing their job.

“Let’s have a good investigation not half baked one,” he said.

Nevin described the death of Anti-Corruption Bureau official Issa Njauju as an attack on the rule of law.

“My perception is that there has not been progress in terms of investigation into the matter. My concern is that the incident is concerning a person who was working for the government agency that is meant to uphold the rule of law. It is a concern because it is an attack on the rule of law,” Nevin said.

During the visit, Nevin had a chat with Times Group Managing Director Leonnard Chikadya and toured the studios and newsrooms.

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