News / Africa

Malawi President Banda Resolute in Graft Fight, says Official

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.
Peter Clottey
Malawi’s new information minister has rejected allegations that donor concern about the country’s endemic corruption pressured President Joyce Banda to dismiss and later reconstitute her cabinet.

“She has made it her top priority to fight graft and to fight fraud in Malawi.  Even where people thought she would be creating problems for her own election, she said ‘I would rather fight corruption, and if that causes me to lose the election, so be it,’” said information minister Brown Mpinganjira. “She said she wouldn’t enjoy running affairs of state knowing that billions of Kwacha [local currency] is going down the drain.”

Mpinganjira says Mrs. Banda has demonstrated resolve in combatting graft. Banda, Mpinganjira said, instructed her new cabinet to reject graft and to work hard to better the lives of the people of Malawi.

“She [ordered] us to be vigilant, to avoid corruption and all forms of corruption and to fight corruption wherever it may lead,” said Mpinganjira.

His comments came after President Banda’s decision to dissolve her cabinet following the arrest of nearly a dozen senior government officials on suspicion of graft and after the shooting of a budget director.

Some political observers linked the cabinet sacking to the investigation into financial malfeasance.

Mpinganjira rejected allegations that a decision by some donors to withhold aid to the country over corruption put pressure on Banda to sack her cabinet.

He said that contrary to criticism, President Banda was the first to inform donors of her demand for an inquiry into allegations of graft in the administration.

“She gave the former minister of finance four weeks to trace loopholes that aid corruption and to find ways of sealing them. Immediately after that mandate to the former finance minister, she called the donors and told them what she had told the finance minister,” said Mpinganjira. “She told donors that she wanted help from them to fight corruption.

“That is why the British, for example, have ended up identifying forensic auditors to come and help in the fight against corruption,” said Mpinganjira.      

But critics of the president say the sacking of the cabinet and the attack on graft is a calculated political stunt to win donor support as well as garner votes for President Banda in next year’s general election. Mpinganjira disagreed.

  “She did not shy away from picking up the fight against corruption because of the election. All her friends - - presidents all over Africa and the world -- were saying to her ‘Why are you taking on this battle now, which may cost you your election?’  But, she said, ‘Look, winning the election and running a country full of corruption does not help matters,’ ” said Mpinganjira. “But, if I am going to lose because of fighting corruption, so be it.”
Clottey interview with Brown Mpinganjira, Malawi information minister
Clottey interview with Brown Mpinganjira, Malawi information ministeri
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

You May Like

ASEAN Ministers Set to Push for South China Sea Agreements

According to documents obtained by VOA Khmer, ministers will stand up for 'freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful maritime commerce, trade and over flight' More

Puerto Rico Defaults on $58M Debt Payment

Payment was due Saturday, default is first in country's 117 years as a United States possession More

Turkish Public Fears Jihadists More Than Kurds

Turkey facing twin threats of terrorism by Islamic State and PKK Kurdish separatists, says President Erdogan’s ruling AK Party More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Nyokopala from: Blantyre, Malawi
November 08, 2013 8:30 AM
I think these recycled Malawian politicians are having an easy ride. They do not even have remorse when commenting on issues of national importance. How can Pres Joice Banda be fighting corruption when she is also a BIG beneficiary of the same? The cashgate scandal if traced has all its fingers pointing at her. She has masterminded it together with Ralph Kasambara. They are trying to find money to finance PP(ruling party) 2013 campaign. I am so fed up with paying exorbitant taxes to help the country grow but all these politicians do is unceremoniously steal from govt coffers at the expence of poor Malawians languishing in abject poverty. God will judge you Pres Joyce Banda.

by: japhet from: durban
November 07, 2013 10:09 PM
The politicians in malawi thnk or knw tht malawians are stupid, jst imagine wht mpinganjira is sayin, who forgot tht he ws a minister who ws sucked coz of stealing government money whn he ws education minister, does jb forgot it? Does it make sence tht she if fighting wth corruption, ths is rubbish, does malawi got no other people who can change ths bank robbers?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs