Written by YAMIKANI SIMUTOWE
BLANTYRE--Pres Joyce Banda on Tuesday led Malawians and the media fraternity in commemorating the Anti-Corruption Day in the lake shore district of Mangochi where she said corruption is frustrating government’s effort to rebuild the country’s economy.
Pres Banda said she was determined to get to the bottom of corruption, create wealth and job opportunities to ably fight the rampant corruption in the country.
The Malawi leader observed that “corruption is spread out, deep rooted more than I thought”, but she said her government will support the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) in fighting corruption at all levels.
She described the recent government’s directive that all principal secretaries should be controlling officers of all internal procurement processes as a bold step to fighting corruption. Banda also told the gathering that her government will also “review the drugs procurement system and all procurement processes in order to fight corruption.
“We will review the procurement system so that government should just be buying drugs and all medical supplies direct from the manufacturers,” she said.
Speaking earlier on, ACB director Justice Rezine Mzikamanda said they would remain independent and expressed concern over public pronouncements by government officials.
Mzikamanda said the independence of the bureau is guaranteed in the law on which it was established.
“Individuals could not be independent but the Bureau shall always be,” he said.
Mzikamanda, who urged the media to continue exposing corruption, bemoaned delays in the passing of Access to Information Bill, which he said could make declaration of assets by public officers mandatory thereby help fight corruption.
The Anti-Corruption Day, which falls on February 5 every year in the country, was celebrated under theme “Media: A Partner in Fighting Corruption”. The commemoration is in line with the International Anti-corruption Day which is initially commemorated on December 9 worldwide.
(c) The Maravi Post 2013