Malawi President Bingu wa Mutharika on Sunday disclosed he is not aware whether or not his government anti-corruption fight is succeeding.
The Malawi leader was speaking during this yearÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s National Anti-corruption Day Commemoration in the commercial city of Blantyre.
Said Mutharika: “After several years of advocacy, is Malawi winning the war against corruption? I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have immediate answers. What I know is that the fight will go on.
“I have made a lot of enemies because of my strong stance against corruption. Of the high profile people that I dismissed due to corruption, they have never ceased to fight me, but that is the price I have always been willing to pay.”
The day was celebrated under the theme Ã¢â‚¬ËœReject corruption: It is not our cultureÃ¢â‚¬â„¢, with special focus on the role of traditional leaders.
Mutharika said traditional leaders play a vital role in eradicating corruption among their people. But he said when chiefs are involved in corrupt practices, they can seriously derail the objectives of the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy.
However, he said this yearÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s focus on chiefs does not mean that other sectors of government do not engage in corruption.
Said the President: “Corruption compromises national development. It contaminates morality and values, distorts national planning, erodes integrity and discipline, and destroys the foundations of our democratic culture. Above all, it violates all norms of government integrity and credibility.”
The President did not spare civil society organisations (CSOs) from whom he demanded transparency and accountability for the funds they receive from various donors.
But Council for Non-Governmental Organisations in Malawi (Congoma) board chairperson Voice Mhone said donors always demand high accountability for their funds so that programmes that do not comply are withdrawn.
Said Mhone: “Maybe the President is just bitter because government programmes are not being supported as they used to because of poor governance and human rights issues.”
In his remarks, Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) director Alex Nampota said it is disheartening to learn that some chiefs are in the forefront of corruption by diverting subsidised farm inputs, demanding payment for simple identification notes in the name of culture.
Earlier, guests to the commemoration ceremony observed a one-minute silence in honour of the late Judge Michael Mtegha who once served as ACB director and initiator of the anti-corruption day. He died on December 17 2011 in South Africa.
In his remarks, the President also paid tribute to two fallen journalists: George Dambula and Mayeso Chirwa who died last week.