Malawi Moves Two Steps Up On Global Corruption Index

Malawi has improved its ranking in Corruption Perception Index (CPI) computed by the global anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International (TI).

Malawi has improved its ranking in Corruption Perception Index (CPI) computed by the global anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International (TI).

The country has moved  from 122  last year to 120  according to the recent report released by the Berlin-based watchdog, National Integrity Platform (NIP).

The improvement comes as  Malawi tries to recover from the systemic looting of state coffers under former People’s Party (PP) administration. The $50m Cashgate scandal in 2013-14, when a third of the government’s budget was stolen, led international donors who funded nearly half of Malawi’s budget to withdraw funding, leaving the economy foundering.

President Peter Mutharika, who is seeking fresh mandate in the May 21 presidential race, has always argued that corruption is not greater now than it was before the Cashgate revelations.

“We are doing more development than at any time in the country’s history. If there was so much corruption there would be no money to do what we are doing,” Mutharika is on record to have said.

The latest corruption perception index worldwide  also saw the United States dropping four notches out of the top 20 countries in the world.

Botswana remains Africa’s most transparent country with a ranking of 34, followed by Namibia, Mauritius and Senegal.

Malawi  goes to polls in May 21 in what Mutharika calls “watershed”. The country has held competitive elections since 1993, when the repressive one-party regime of Hastings Kamuzu Banda, who ruled for three decades after independence, ended.

But analysts say the country is still mired in a cycle of personality-driven patronage politics that feeds graft.

The economy has been stabilised since the Cashgate scandal, with inflation tamed to below double digits and central bank reserves rebuilt. However, gross domestic product growth, estimated at 4 per cent last year, is regarded by the IMF as too slow to raise most of the population out of poverty.

But Mutharika administration says it is pursuing ambitious plans to industrialise Malawi beyond subsistence agriculture and a reliance on tobacco exports.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.