President Peter Mutharika on Wednesday underlined his commitment to fight corruption by urging the Anti-Corruption Bureau and Minister of Local Government Kondwani Nankhumwa to root out the malpractice in councils.
Mutharika made the call in Mulanje when he officially launched Phase 8 of the Malawi Rural Electrification Programme (MAREP). He said his government is implementing public infrastructure programmes such as constructing roads and water facilities in both towns and rural areas.
In these programmes, councils play a pivotal role in identifying projects and contractors and processing payment, following the Decentralisation Policy. However, the councils have been making headlines for rampant abuse of funds, hence Mutharika’s warning.
“…Let me appeal to all councils. I want corruption to stop in the councils. You are awarding road contracts to people who are not qualified. Some councillors have personal businesses and you are taking roads contracts when you don’t have experience. That has to stop. I am directing the Minister of Local Government to ensure that ACB should curb this malpractice at once,” Mutharika said.
DPP has a majority of councillors elected in the 2014 tripartite elections. Mutharika’s warning comes while DPP councillors in Chiradzulu are in the news for forcibly closing the office of District Commissioner Memory Kaleso. They say they want the DC out of her office with immediate effect.
The councillors are said to be angry with Kaleso due to measures she has instituted to curb reckless spending in the council. The Ministry of Local Government is investigating the matter. Nankhumwa told the media this week that he expects to get a report from a team which was given the mandate to probe the issue. Mutharika has consistently said he will not protect anyone including members of his cabinet and party if they are found involved in corruption.