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

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid