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Rampant Corruption Worries United Kingdom

Britain says it is appalled with continued theft of public resources and corruption in the country, stressing that local taxpayers and donors cannot keep putting money in a leaking bucket.

Acting British High Commissioner Sophia Willitts-King said this on Tuesday after meeting Minister of Justice Titus Mvalo in Lilongwe to discuss the role of the justice system in fighting corruption.

Willitts-King (C): Key for me is prosecutions

Mvalo on Wednesday confirmed the meeting and said Capital Hill is equally concerned with the vice. He said he assured the diplomat of several efforts to deal with corruption, including review of procurement laws, beneficial ownership guidelines and establishment of the Financial Crimes Court.

Writing on her Twitter account after meeting Mvalo, Willitts-King said the United Kingdom was keen to see prosecutions that result in convictions and that proceeds of crime are being confiscated.

She said: “We talked about the role of the judicial system in delivering deterrence against corruption in the interests of the Malawian people. The key question, what will really stop the stealing? We also talked about our shared global values.

“Key areas for me: prosecutions that result in convictions, confiscating profits of crime, procurement being transparent, especially in fuel, fertiliser and health commodities, a beneficial ownership register up and running. Malawian people and donors can’t keep putting money in a cup full of holes!”

Anti-money laundering expert Jai Banda in an interview yesterday said several factors are affecting the fight against corruption, including capacity of law enforcement agencies and cooperation, infrastructure as well as rushing to arrest suspects without proper investigations merely to create sensations.

In a separate interview, Youth and Society executive director Charles Kajoloweka, whose institution is a member of the country’s National Anti- Corruption Alliance, wondered whether the National Anti- Corruption Strategy is bearing fruit.

He also wondered why donors were only supporting law enforcement agencies in dealing with the vice, leaving out the civil society.

“There is also a need to check accountability of the Judiciary on prosecution of cases. Some cases have taken too long and there is no tracking of that,” said Kajoloweka.

Meanwhile, Mvalo has said Malawi cannot afford to lose the fight against corruption, adding, several interventions have been put in place to keep on with the fight, that include increasing funding and staffing levels for ACB

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