By Yamikani Yapuwa
Blantyre, July 26, Mana: President Lazarus Chakwera on Tuesday launched a 20-week Anti-Corruption Campaign with a call to the citizenry to spread the message ‘corruption is our biggest enemy and is not welcome here”.
Speaking at the end of two-day National Anti-Corruption Conference in Blantyre, Chakwera said by saying the words every time Malawians will be expressing their feelings and commitment towards corruption.
“This is an important campaign we are starting today; it is important because every time we say those words, we will make it known to those around us on what we think of corruption and what we are personally committed to do about it.
“We will make it known that to us; corruption is not an opportunity, or an inconvenience, or a nuisance, but our biggest enemy, an adversary whose intention is to harm and destroy us, an adversary we loathe, hate, and despise,” said Chakwera.
He said this must be the national attitude for everyone in government, business, and civil society space and in homes so that the country reset the moral tone.
“If we make this our national attitude for the next twenty weeks and beyond; we will ensure that those in our midst who are our Anti-Corruption Champions are able to wage this war without fear; because they will know that all of us have made corruption our national enemy.
“If we make this our national attitude, then the Anti-Corruption Bureau can pursue all cases of corruption with confidence that all of us want the ACB to succeed.
“If we make this our national attitude, then other Anti-Corruption Agencies like the Fiscal Police, Malawi Revenue Authority, and the Financial Intelligence Agency can do their work without anxiety because they will know that all of us want this enemy they are pursuing to be defeated,” said Chakwera.
He then applauded the Director General of ACB Martha Chizuma for doing an inspiring job of raising the level of public engagement in the fight against corruption.
“The country has never taken an interest in seeing government cleaned up and freed of corruption as much as it is now, and Ms. Chizuma’s fierce passion for this cause has been a major factor in that situation,” said Chakwera.
Speaking earlier Anti-Corruption Bureau Director General Martha Chizuma said the bureau needed the President to provide the right tone at the top in the fight which she said was ably demonstrated at the conference and through the support that the President provides to the bureau in terms of resources.
Chizuma said the bureau needed correct and justifiable policy direction form the Ministry of Justice and support and proper cooperation from its sister institution like police, Financial Intelligence authority, the Directorate of Public Prosecution and others among others
Chizuma however said the bureau will not accept coercion from any quarter to ignore its mandate or be forced to ignore clear incidents of corruption just because tackling them feels uncomfortable for others.
“The bureau will not cower to pressure to be used as a tool for political objectives regardless of where that pressure comes from.
“The bureau will not allow itself to be bound hand and foot to anti-corruption strategies, approaches and methods that have over time proved to be ineffective and responsible for the creation of the current situation which we are grappling with,” said Chizuma.