AFRICA/MALAWI - The Bishops: "Staff of the Anti-Corruption Bureau must be protected"

Friday, 21 January 2022 corruption   coronavirus   bishops  

Lilongwe (Agenzia Fides) - "No one should be pressurized, intimidated or influenced by threats or any other means in the carrying out of their work for the good of the country. We plead, in the interest of building a more just and transparent Malawi that benefits all its citizens, that any of the investigations or cases which the ACB is dealing with are not in any way obstructed or influenced", ask the Bishops of Malawi in a statement in which they appeal to the highest State authorities to defend the members of the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB). "We appeal to the Head of State, Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, the Vice President, Dr. Saulos Klaus Chilima and all relevant State institutions and their Heads to ensure the security of the ACB staff; especially the Director General" ask the Bishops.
In the statement, the Bishops applaud the efforts of the ACB members and their courage, their professionalism and determination in the fight against corruption, especially for what they have done in the last 6 months.
The Bishops affirm that corruption undermines the dignity of the person and destroys the ideals of those who work for the common good.
"Too often these institutions and individuals have betrayed the trust of the citizenry and acted in ways which have further embedded systematic corruption and frustrated the fight against it", they say. Among other things, corruption is seriously impeding the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic in the Country. Malawi police have arrested more than 64 government officials for misusing $ 8 million in government funds earmarked for the fight against Covid-19.
"Let no suspect, however powerful, wealthy or who their connections are, be shielded or protected provided that he or she is given proper recourse to the legal processes of the courts", the Bishops conclude. The appeal came just hours after the Bishops' Conference's Public Affairs Committee (PAC) met with President Chakwera to discuss corruption in the country. The Committee reported to the Head of State the feeling of the population on the state of the economy:
"With due respect to explanations on the impact of Covid-19 pandemic and its implications on the economy Your Excellency, the public view seems to suggest that the administration lacks direction on the mitigation of economic hardship", said the president of PAC Monsignor Dr. Patrick Thawale.
The president of PAC also highlighted the issue of nepotism which is causing scandal among citizens. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 21/1/2022)