While the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the federal government of Germany continue to pressure Malawi on the need to appoint a director of its anti corruption bureau, or risk losing out on monetary support, some western financial institutions are promoting corruption in Africa. The United States government lacks the moral integrity to talk down to Africans over the corrupt practices of a few rulers whilst they entertain Malawi’s newly appointed president, Joyce Banda, who is refusing to declare her assets. Malawi has for the past decades been looted of its wealth by politicians and the powerful elite, wealth that was meant for the development and livelihood of its people.
The way president Joyce Banda has been giftwrapped by the Americans reveals a sinister ploy by the US government to engage in shady deals.
Before she could even come up with an economic recovery plan for Malawi, Forbes magazine quickly awarded her with the ‘most powerful woman in Africa’ accolade to the surprise of Malawians who expect their leader to provide a much needed economic direction. If African presidents can be awarded for doing nothing, Joyce Banda is exhibit A. The US government seems to be ignoring calls by Malawians who are demanding the president declare her assets as one way of combating corruption. How can we fight corruption when it is being fueled by major donors who later turn around to heap the blame on corruption for the underdevelopment of African countries?
The fight against corruption is a collective responsibility of all stakeholders in the country. How can we as Malawians succeed in fighting corruption when the president and her government are shielded by the donor community? If the US government wants to be taken seriously in the fight against corruption, first it must stop the unnecessary PR machinations that make President Banda smell of roses on the international platform when the country continues on its downward spiral due to financial mismanagement. One can only learn with grave consternation at the level of PR being heaped by the US government on a president who has zero knowledge of how her country is being run. Since she took over as president, there has been an increase in the nefarious underworld of corruption and banditry organised by the ruling elite which has caused innocent Malawians to live in fear on top their abject poverty.
Malawi’s economic progress stalls because it is blemished by a deep rooted corrupt system that can only start to change if politicians declare their assets and a transparent political environment is installed. Malawians are getting frustrated by President Banda’s failed policies in the short period she has been president. It is with this regard that we ask for her to declare her assets and build a transparent structure that focuses on opening up audit systems to combat the deep rooted corruption in the country.
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This post was written by BenChiza