Government has called for joint efforts in the fight against corruption in the country. Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Samuel Tembenu said this Thursday in Lilongwe at a start of a two day long National Anti- Corruption Conference.
He said government alone cannot stamp out corruption in the country hence the need for the involvement of all stakeholders to guard against the malpractice.
The Minister explained that the National conference has been organized to seek views from all stakeholders on how corruption can be eradicated. The Minister said Conference; the first of its kind in the country symbolizes government’s commitment to ensuring that there is a corruption free society.
“We called for this conference so that we add up to those many voices that have been talking and been calling for action regarding the evil and vice called corruption,” Tembenu said.
He said his ministry has been carrying out consultations on how the country can fight corruption and this afford an opportunity for stakeholders to voice out their views and input in the fight.
The Minister told the gathering that government adopted an anti-corruption strategy in 2008 which has eight pillars among them namely the media, faith based organization, executive, judiciary, legislature, civil society organizations, traditional leaders and nongovernmental organisation.
Tembenu cited that the Executive, Judiciary and Legislature are the only three active pillars. European Union (EU) Ambassador to Malawi, Marchel Germann said as a true friend of Malawi, the EU is ready to assist in the fight against corruption.
He observed that corruption is not only rampant in the country’s public sector but also in the private sector and even in the civil society.
One of the panelists at the conference, Professor Patrick Lumumba from Kenya said corruption in Africa is so rampant because it is not fought from top.
He noted that the fact that Malawi belongs to regional and international bodies that are fighting corruption is a clear demonstration that there is political will.
Lumumba commended Malawi for giving prosecuting powers to the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) which is not the case in most African countries.
Lumumba who is Director at Kenya School of Law called for total independence of the ACB if the fight is to be won.
He called upon African Presidents to be in the fore front to fight the malpractice and that all those that are involved should be brought to book to deter other would be offenders.
ACB Director Lucas Kondowe said much as the Bureau has operational independence, it lacks financial independence making it one of the major challenges in the fight against corruption.
President Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika will officially open the Conference Friday morning