CSOs, Private Sector Join Forces to Fight Corruption at Anti-Corruption Open Day in Mzuzu
Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index has consistently placed Malawi in a lower range, scoring between 27 and 41 against a global average of 48.4.
Mzuzu, Malawi - The Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and the private sector united in a collective effort against corruption during the Anti-Corruption Open Day held at Katoto Secondary School Ground on October 28, 2023, writes Winston Mwale.
The event brought together various stakeholders in the fight against corruption, and the Director General of the Anti-Corruption Bureau, Ms. Martha Chizuma, served as the Guest of Honour.
Mr. Gomezgani Nyasulu, Chief Executive Officer of Mzuzu City, Mr. Francis Munthali, Chief Executive Officer of the Northern Region Water Board, and His Worship Tony Mwenitete, Deputy Mayor of Mzuzu City, were among the distinguished guests in attendance.
CSOs and the private sector took the opportunity to highlight the ongoing challenges in combating corruption in Malawi.
The fight against corruption, although central to the government's agenda, appears to have reached a standstill, with petty and grand corruption remaining common, and patronage, nepotism, and clientelism posing significant obstacles to the anti-corruption framework.
Corruption has also disrupted foreign aid, which constitutes 40 percent of the government budget.
Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index has consistently placed Malawi in a lower range, scoring between 27 and 41 against a global average of 48.4, making Malawi the 110th least corrupt nation out of 180 countries in 2022.
The Anti-Corruption Bureau's 25th anniversary was commemorated under the theme "A corruption-free Malawi 2063," which calls for a collective effort to address corruption.
CSOs play a pivotal role as watchdogs, advocating for the rights of less advantaged members of society and monitoring service delivery, according to the National Anti-Corruption Strategy II.
The CSOs called on the government, donors, and stakeholders to support the Anti-Corruption Bureau, enhance its investigation and prosecution capabilities, and expedite case resolutions.
While the independence of the Anti-Corruption Bureau has been a subject of discussion, CSOs highlighted that the powers of prosecution remain with the Director of Public Prosecution according to the constitution, which is supreme.
The repeal of certain sections of the Corruption Practices Act has not fully addressed the issue of prosecutorial powers.
The CSOs expressed their unwavering commitment to the fight against corruption, emphasizing their determination to demand accountability from both public and private institutions.
In closing, the CSOs conveyed their desire for Malawi to achieve a zero-tolerance policy toward corruption, aiming for a corruption-free Malawi by 2063.
The event marked the beginning of a collective effort to address corruption challenges in Malawi, with private sector and CSO members standing united to fight against corruption in the country.