President Peter Mutharika has insisted that the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) is independent amid claims from various quarters that the bureau acts selectively.
Mutharika made the remarks during the official launch of National Anti-Corruption Corruption Conference at Bingu International Conference Centre in Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe.
The president refuted claims that the bureau acts on matters selectively and that it only targets the opposition saying the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) led government does not interfere in the job of the anti-corruption body.
He gave an example of the search at the house of former agriculture minister George Chaponda who is also a top DPP official as a sign that the body acts independently and professionally.
During the conference on Thursday, Kenyan anti-corruption crusader Professor Patrick Lumumba said lack of political will is fuelling corruption in Africa.
But Mutharika claimed that corruption cannot only be fought through the presence of political will saying all stakeholders in the country have a role to play in ending this evil act.
Speaking at the same event, National Assembly Speaker Richard Msowoya said the only way Malawi can curb corruption is by accepting that the vice is real in the country and making the bodies that deal with it independent.
Msowoya said interfering in the duties of these bodies is likely to happen because top officials in such institutions are appointed by political leaders and they sometimes do their work to please their masters.
He further said that the vice can also be curbed if the bodies that fight against corruption such as the National Assembly and Anti-Corruption Bureau are fully funded.
On his part, Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda SC said judicial officers also have a crucial role to play in ending corruption in the country.
According to Nyirenda, it is bad for people such as judicial officers who are supposed to be at forefront of fighting the vice to be also involved in mismanaging public funds.
“When the hunters will be hunted nothing will be left for this great nation,” said Nyirenda.
Among other guests who graced the occasion include Secretary General of Commonwealth Patricia Scotland, Lumumba, Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Samuel Tembenu and Chief Secretary to the Government Lloyd Muhara.
The conference was jointly organised by Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs and Anti-Corruption Bureau under the theme “Corruption in Malawi: Reality or Perception.”