December 9, 2017 – Lilongwe, Malawi
Joint Statement on International Anti-Corruption Day from the Heads of Mission of the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Norway, Japan, the European Union, and the United Nations
On International Anti-Corruption Day, we reiterate our support for Malawians exposing and addressing corruption. Corruption is a barrier to poverty reduction, diverting scarce resources away from healthcare, schools, and water provision. It affects critical capital investments like road and power generation. Corruption is a disincentive for private sector investment, economic growth, and jobs.
We recognize that the Malawian Government has made efforts such as improvements in public finance management and laws on access to information, financial crimes, and, recently, political parties. Effective implementation of these laws is critical now. Further reforms are also needed: indicators on corruption still show a negative trend and there are continuous reports of fraud, often related to procurement.
The Anti-Corruption Bureau must be able to pursue all cases without undue influence. Tackling corruption requires a concerted effort: all public institutions need to ensure strong controls are in place and that civil servants are held to account. The Procurement Act should be put into practice as a priority, including merit-based recruitment of staff of the new Public Procurement Authority. All accountability institutions should be adequately resourced to fulfill their mandate effectively.
The private sector must respect the law and report suspicious transactions to the Financial Intelligence Authority and other institutions. We support the media in keeping the public informed to support accountability in public life. We recall that Malawi’s high profile “cashgate” scandal happened in the run-up to the 2014 elections. We call on all stakeholders, led by the authorities, to safeguard scarce public resources between now and the next elections.