High Court Judge Zione Ntaba has called for aggressive fight against corruption if the country is to make strides in economic development.
In her keynote address at the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Malawi (Icam) Annual Lakeshore Conference in Mangochi on Thursday she said corruption is the cancer that disintegrates national development and the country’s reputation.
Ntaba, a judge at the Zomba District Registry, observed that corruption makes government unable to deliver services and increases the cost of doing business.
She said: “Accountants, like lawyers, are a service profession, critical in this fight against corruption. Accountants continue to calculate the costs of corruption on this country.
“I should appreciate your role by reminding lawyers and judges, the cost of delayed prosecution and adjudication of corruption cases. We take heed of the continued reminders that delays affect the perception and trust in the administration of justice.”
Her remarks come at a time the country is yet to recover from effects of Cashgate—the plunder of taxpayers’ money by civil servants at Capital Hill in cohort with private sector operatives.
They also come at a time Malawi’s corruption perception has been dented with the latest Global Corruption Barometer for Africa by Transparency International (TI) showing that more than half of Malawians think that corruption is getting worse in the country.
The report, released in July this year, indicates that 72 percent of Malawians think that corruption has increased in the past 12 months while 78 percent think government is not doing a good job in tackling the vice.
Ntaba, who spoke at the three-day conference that has pooled together more than 1 000 delegates from within and outside the country, said Malawians look up to the Judiciary for the creation of special corruption courts, but also speedy delivery of justice.
In her address titled ‘Inspire to Greatness: Malawi’s Hope for Greatest’, she said for Malawi to prosper and grow its economy, it needs to build strong institutions, including professional bodies that are rooted in the rule of law, such as Icam.
Speaking earlier, Icam president Joel Mwenelupembe said this year’s conference is coming at a time Africa has made a resolution to say no to poverty.
“Poverty can no longer be part of our genetic code, DNA. This conference has come at the time when Africa can trade with itself and become a force to reckon with in global trade,” he said.
Mwenelupembe pointed out that for a long time, Malawi has been a “meal on the table, not dinner”, observing that if the country is to be in the equation, there is need to transcend beyond the meal part, to the dining.
This narrative mirrors the theme for this year’s conference ‘Reposition for Africa’s Economic Renaissance: Malawi in the Equation’.
The conference is helping delegates to understand the Agenda 2063 and the role of accountancy profession and how it can be strengthened towards a common agenda. The conference has brought together local and international presenters.
The highlight of the presenters is Patrick Loch Otieno (PLO) Lumumba, a Kenyan, who served as the director of Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission from September 2010 to August 2011.
Lumumba will today make a presentation titled ‘Harmonising Africa’s Resources for Africa’s Development: From Third World to First’.