Malawi’s weak laws fueling public looting

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Investigations this publication has conducted indicate that Malawian public servants are the ones fueling the county’s downfall with their enduring habit of swindling taxpayers’ money as there are no serious laws and regulations that may obstruct them from their corrupt practices.

It has been established that although the country is claiming to be fighting a war against corruption, the most corrupt people are those serving in the civil service.

Our findings indicate that corruption has not spared any sector in government such that even those working under the ministries have their own means and ways of robbing from poor Malawians.

Gathered information shows that contrary to benefits that these servants get from government, most of them are seen building expensive mansions and buying posh cars, all courtesy of robbing from the poor Malawians.

For instance, Malawians have been wondering how some workers at Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA), road traffic directorate, and the department of immigration among others, typically live an expensive life despite a known fact that their remunerations are not that handsome.

Officials from the accountant general are seen building very expensive mansions across the country and government is yet to tell the public if at all it offers loans for them for such projects because only with their salaries, one doubts if they can manage to build such well-designed mansions.

In an interview with former president Justin Malewezi on the matter, he admitted that public servants will keep on robbing from the poor Malawians because there are no strong laws that can hold such people accountable.

He said even though the country has asset declaration laws, they also have some very serious loopholes such that they are not effective enough to hold public servants accountable.

Justin Malewezi

Malewezi: People will keep stealing.

“The problem is that Malawi chose to have a law that does not require public officers to disclose their assets to the public. This is the main weakness in the enforcement of the Asset Declaration Act. Public disclosure of their wealth can help the public to acquire official and correct information but when government and its leaders are not willing to disclose their assets publicly, dishonesty may lengthen,” he said.

Malawi24 understands that the Asset Declaration Act also focuses on senior officials only while the habit of swindling taxpayer’s money starts from even junior staff as evidenced by revelations in the reports on the infamous cashgate scandal.

Malewezi said because the main focus of the law is on top government officials, some junior officers take advantage on the same to rob from the public.

He wished if the laws were strict to any public servant because junior staffs have also proven to be hardcore thieves.

“I think that all officers on tender committees, all those who have the power to authorize expenditure, accountants, and auditors of any rank must be required to declare their assets,” he said.

It is believed that junior officials are masterminds of corruption because senior officials hide behind them to facilitate the unlawful awarding of tenders to companies that belong to themselves while other companies which are competent are left out because they have no links with the officials.

Yet to be published findings indicate that almost 90% of government business is characterized by corruption and after our publication finalizes with investigations on the matter, names of all corrupt public servants will be published for public awareness.

Ex-minister of justice in the Joyce Banda administration Fahad Assan proposed that all civil servants should declare their assets because it was found out that low level civil servants like accounts assistants were the masterminds of cashgate.

Nothing has been heard on the issue with the change of government from people’s party to the democratic progressive party (DPP).

One official from government treasury confessed to this publication recently that people will never stop siphoning public funds because there are big loopholes in the treasury. He emphatically said that as government is pursuing the current cashgate cases, some people are stealing underground and are shielded by the same cashgate proceedings.

Efforts to get information on how the national graft busting body (ACB) is working towards curbing the malpractice proved futile because we failed to reach the phone lines of their publicist Egrita Ndala.

Meanwhile it is clear that as long as there will not be laws to regulate these public servants, Malawians’ taxes will continue to be mismanaged by the public servants but Malwi24 will work towards exposing all corrupt public servants in its subsequent articles.

Should you have suspicions or information that may lead to the exposure of public servants who are corrupt or demands money from you for their services please email: [email protected]/ [email protected]

send a text to +265882688605

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