Calls by high-profile diplomats for Malawi to address the rampant corruption in the country should be an opportunity for government to reflect on its effort in creating a corrupt-free society.
It is our expectation that once the government takes the lead in the fight against corruption – by allowing existing systems to function properly – it would eventually be our way of life to do things in the right way.
Functional systems would ensure that a cleaner Malawi that everyone dreams of should become a reality. The concerns that corruption has slowed down development in Malawi are indeed genuine.
It is, therefore, sad that when several opportunities have presented themselves to the prosecuting bodies, little suggests that there is commitment to make our society clean.
A number of examples would point to the fact that the country seems to tolerate corruption. For instance, when almost everyone expected that the massive looting of government resources, dubbed Cashgate, would give Malawi a breath of fresh air, the delays in prosecuting Cashgate suspects have only encouraged others to try their luck.
What about contracts awarded dubiously? Is this not the reason that the government spends so much on the same project because of poor workmanship? Yet despite all these wrongs, it is evident that things have remained the same because the leadership rarely shares the vision that would ensure that we should have a better Malawi.
The presence of investigation and prosecution bodies that aim at bringing sanity is evidence that there are systems in place but what is very wrong is failure to strengthen the systems to register desired results.
Now that corruption continues dominating the conversation today, the cost of not acting is huge. For a country that has always preached about investment, fighting corruption should be top of the agenda.
Unsurprisingly, calls for commitment in fighting corruption are easily dismissed. It is only when things are done differently that Malawi would register meaningful development. A desirable investment environment would not be achieved if the fight against corruption is not intensified.