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 One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs