Malawi's top judge says corruption omnipresent

2015-08-12 21:41
Malawi's new president, Democratic Progressive Party leader Peter Mutharika. (Amos Gumulira, AFP)

Malawi's new president, Democratic Progressive Party leader Peter Mutharika. (Amos Gumulira, AFP)

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Lilongwe - Malawi's chief justice said on Wednesday that corruption was omnipresent, in a rare public admission by a senior official since the poor country's biggest graft scandal in 2013.

Andrew Nyirenda told a meeting of anti-graft agencies that the theft of at least $30m in state funds by public officials had taken the judicial system by surprise.

He said corruption was "visible in every sector of society...as you walk down the streets and in the civil service and the private sector."

Nyirenda urged anti-graft agencies, including auditors, civil society groups, the judiciary and investigators to jointly fight corruption.

"Let's put our body and minds to find ways of realistically dealing with this scourge which is deeply rooted in our country," he said.

Several former civil servants implicated in the scam dubbed "Cashgate" are currently standing trial, with two convictions so far.

The scandal helped push former president Joyce Banda out of power in May 2014 elections which were won by Peter Mutharika.

Donors in 2013 pulled out $150m in aid until Lilongwe improves its financial accounting systems and stopped theft.

Read more on:    peter mutharika  |  malawi  |  southern africa

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