A newly released Corruption Index report which has shown a further slump of Malawi’s standing on corruption on a global scale has hinted that reversing the trend will largely depend on the effectiveness of handling current cases and management of the COVID-19 pandemic respectively.
The report hints that with the world facing the COVID-19 global pandemic, which is not seen just as a
health and economic crisis, but a corruption crisis as well, countries need to provide safety nets against corruption.
The report talks about countless lives that could be lost due to the effects of corruption in addition to undermining a fair and equitable response to the pandemic.
The Transparency International report has pointed to alleged corruption of the DPP regime and the legacy of the infamous cashgate as being responsible for the country’s continued poor standing on the global corruption index.
The report, however, sees the change in government – from DPP to MCP – as an opportunity for enhanced fight against corruption.
“Malawi has an opportunity to strengthen good governance and promote anti-corruption efforts to reverse the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy.”
The report also indicates that the handling of outstanding cases including the extradition of Pastor Shepherd Bushiri and his wife Mary to stand fraud and corruption charges in South Africa will provide some litmus test.
The just released Corruption Index Report suggests that Malawi faces a litmus test in bolstering its resolve in fighting corruption over the manner it will handle the extradition of renown pastor Bushiri and his wife Mary who escaped fraud and corruption trial in South Africa.
The 2020 Transparency International report says:
“The extradition of a high-profile Malawian pastor (Shepherd Bushiri and his wife, Mary) to stand trial for alleged money laundering in South Africa may be another test of the country’s commitment to anti-corruption.
The report shows that Malawi remains one of the countries where corruption is high.
Malawi which is scored at 30, is among the twenty-two countries significantly decreased their scores, including Bosnia and Herzegovina (35), Guatemala (25), Lebanon (25), Malta (53) and Poland (56).
“With a score of 30, Malawi is a significant decliner on the CPI, dropping seven points since 2012,” reads the report in part.
The report suggests that in the aftermath of the notorious “cash-gate scandal” of 2013, 94 cases involving high levels of public sector corruption and misappropriation of funds, corruption remains a challenge.
The report also points out a recent government audit
revealed public sector corruption of astronomical
proportions, with an estimated US$1 billion allegedly stolen by officials of the previous DPP government.
The report says there is hope that the new government elected in June 2020 will make good its promises for a fresh start to end corruption.
“There is hope with several investigations into corruption already underway, and some key arrests made in connection with a cement import scandal,” reads part of the report.
Going forward, the report recommends strengthening of oversight institutions, ensure open and transparent contracting, defending corruption and the civic space and publishing relevant information.