News / Africa

Malawi Police Challenge Corruption Report

Police officers guard the Chaize stadium in Cabinda, (File photo).
Police officers guard the Chaize stadium in Cabinda, (File photo).
Lameck Masina
Malawi police are disputing the findings of the 2013 Global Corruption Barometer by Transparency International (TI) showing that the law enforcement agency is the most corrupt institution in the country.

The report by global watchdog Transparency International issued this week alleges that Malawi's police are the most corrupt of the 12 institutions surveyed in the country.

The police service scored a 4.7 on a scale of 1 - 5 - with 5 being extremely corrupt. Public officials and civil servants earned a score of 4.3.  Religious institutions are considered the least corrupt, scoring 2.6.

But Malawi deputy spokesman for the police force, Kelvin Maigwa, takes issue with the TI report. “I entirely do not agree that the Malawi police service is the most corrupt service in this country. Of course there have been cases of officers being arrested for indulging in corruption but that doesn’t mean that the whole police service is corrupt," he said. "The officers who were corrupt are the ones who were arrested and the courts did their job. So the cream of officers which we have right now are not corrupt.”

Maigwa also questioned the criteria used to reach the findings. “I don’t know what those guys were looking for and they have not yet served us with the report of their findings. So they try to look at the negative sides with the intention of discrediting us," he complained. "But all I can say is our officers are not corrupt.”

Methodology

Southern African regional coordinator for Transparency International, Tapiwa Uchizi Nyasulu, told a local newspaper, Daily Times, the methodology is standard.  She said the report is based on interviews with citizens who were asked if they had been in contact with the police for the past 12 months and did they pay any bribes.

Nyasulu also noted that the findings on Malawi police are similar to 17 other African countries where the police were considered the most corrupt institution by citizens.

Egrita Ndala - spokesperson for Malawi’s Anti-Corruption Bureau, declined comment at this time. “We are still reading the report. What we have seen is the newspaper article so we need to read the report so that we could see what it is showing so that we could actually be in a better position to comment,” Ndala said.

This is the second time in three years that the Malawi police have been ranked most corrupt by Transparency International.

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