Govt to target assets bought with stolen funds

Government says it will ensure anyone convicted of corruption related crimes is stripped of their assets, including property bought before the crime was committed.

Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Honourable Bright Msaka SC said this at the commemoration of the International Anti-corruption Day and launch of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS II) in Mangochi on Monday.

Msaka described the move as a paradigm shift in the fight against corruption and financial crimes.

He added that this will ensure that people who are convicted of corruption do not enjoy the fruits of their crimes after being released from jail.

“Now, with the support of the International Centre for Asset Recovery, nothing will be left undone to ensure that every penny stolen from the state is recovered, ” the Minister said.

Msaka (R) and Matemba

According to Msaka, seizure of assets will include sale of property the individual acquired years before the commission of the crime.

At the event Msaka represented President Peter Mutharika.

“The clear message from the President is that nobody is above the law. The President will not shield anyone; and there are no sacred cows,” he said.

The Minister then urged both the public and private sectors, and all our citizens, to recommit themselves to combat and prevent this evil of corruption.

In his remarks, ACB director Reyneck Matemba said the bureau has made major in-roads in its anti-corruption drive but remains challenged on the structural and financial aspects.

Matemba said the bureau is often criticised by the public, which feels that cases tend to take forever to reach their logical conclusions.

“There are concerns that cases are taking too long to be investigated, and as if that is not bad enough, takes longer again to be prosecuted,” Matemba said.

To expedite such cases, Matemba said the ACB is lobbying government for the establishment of the corruption and financial crimes court to handle corruption and related crimes.

This year the event was being commemorated under the theme: ‘My Fight; Our Fight: Corruption Must Fall’.

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