United States Ambassador to Malawi David Young says corruption is pervasive and fighting back across all the arms of government, from the executive, to the judiciary and the legislative.
Young was speaking inside the Times Exclusive program which was broadcast over the weekend.
He said corruption is fighting back under the Chakwera administration and the arms of government are not producing the results Malawi needs in the fight against corruption.
“Malawi needs a system that does not have such pervasive corruption because it holds back the economy, holds back development.
“People are doing sweetheart deals, there are bribes going back and forth. You have to pay to meet with somebody in government, people do not report their expenses. Those kind of things just drain money from a poor country,” said Young.
He added that a symbol of this was the middle of the night arrest of Anti-Corruption Bureau Director General Martha Chizuma in December last year.
Young said the administration of Joe Biden does not regret issuing a statement against the arrest because it is very concerned about the fight against corruption in Malawi since the issue is critical to United States’ partnership with Malawi.
“We want the best for every Malawians, if you won’t fight against corruption you are not going to lift the country up,” said Young whose country pours millions of dollars into the Malawi economy every year.
The United States Ambassador also noted that while Malawi has made positive steps in arresting people connected to corrupt acts, the prosecutions of the suspects haven’t gone very far and have not resulted in many convictions.
Young argued that convictions are important because they deter people who are in government or in business from engaging in corrupt acts
“Convictions bring deterrence and I don’t there is any Malawian who would say that there have been a lot of convictions in the fight against corruption,” said Young.
The ambassador’s comments come days after the Chakwera administration discontinued the case against former President Bakili Muluzi who was accused of diverting K1.7 billion in public funds to his personal accounts.
Critics say the decision to end the case shows that the Chakwera- administration has given up in the fight against corruption.
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