News / Africa

Malawi Corruption Fight Snatches Most Senior Official to date

FILE - Malawi President Joyce Hilda Mtila Banda addresses the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly.FILE - Malawi President Joyce Hilda Mtila Banda addresses the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly.
x
FILE - Malawi President Joyce Hilda Mtila Banda addresses the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly.
FILE - Malawi President Joyce Hilda Mtila Banda addresses the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly.
James Butty
Malawi’s Director of Public Prosecutions says his office has been given a blank check to go after public officials who accused of involvement in the so-called “cashgate” scandal in which millions of dollars have been discovered missing from public coffers.

Bruno Kalemba says President Joyce Banda’s government has the political will and commitment to defeat corruption.

His comments came after the government announced Thursday that it has arrested and charged a senior official suspected of embezzling $15 million.

Treza Namathanga Senzani, the principal secretary in the ministry of tourism, is accused of ordering payments to her company for services that never took place.

Kalemba said Senzani’s arrest shows that there are no sacred cows in the Banda government’s war on corruption.

“These investigations are wide ranging. We are going as far back as 2006. Her arrest simply shows that as the information is coming out, those that we are getting evidence against they are being arrested. She’s probably the most senior and what that shows is that no one is above the law. If there are others as senior as she is or even above, if their names come up, we are also going to carry out their arrests and investigate them,” he said.

Kalemba said Senzani and junior accounts assistant Geoffrey Sinoya were arrested after they were making “illegal payments” into the government payment system, taking advantage of the loopholes in the system.

He said the government is working hard to seal the loopholes by taking the system off line.

“The scheme was taking place through an integrated financial system which people had found a loophole in and they were taking advantages of those loopholes to siphon off money. It is something that we are working on the system. The people are on the ground trying to seal the loopholes. The system is currently off line. We are hoping that by the first of November the system will be back after those loopholes have been sealed,” Kalemba said.

Kalemba said the government’s payment system was first introduced in 2006 during the administration of late President Bingu wa Mutharika. But he said steps are being taken to correct the flaws in the system.

“From what we understand, the weaknesses were identified as early as 2010, and audit was carried out that time but wasn’t concluded. This wouldn’t have happened if that audit report had been concluded and the findings of implemented,” he said.

Revelation of the scandal prompted President Joyce Banda to dissolve her cabinet last week. Kalemba said President Joyce Banda’s government has the political will and commitment to defeat corruption.

“The investigation agencies in the country, the prosecution agencies in the country have been given a blank check to deal with this matter as far as we possibly can. We have in fact enlisted assistance from our donor partners to bring us expertise in areas where we are lacking,” Kalemba said.

He said the fight against corruption in Africa is not a lost cause, as some have suggested.

“It (corruption) is beatable. It is the commitment that is sometimes lacking. But in this particular case the commitment is there. The political commitment is there, so we do not anticipate that there will be any sacred cows in this investigation,” Kalemba said.
Butty interview with Kalemba
Butty interview with Kalembai
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

You May Like

Video Obama Announces Plan to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Obama details troop deployment and other pieces of US plan More

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid