Veteran politician Vernon Mwaanga has said that Ministers and government officials involved in corrupt activities should be charged and removed from their positions.
Commenting on Malawi’s President Lazarus Chakwera’s decision to dissolve his cabinet after three of his now-former ministers were facing allegations of corruption, Dr.Mwaanga said in an interview that erring ministers should be charged and removed from their positions if sufficient grounds were established.
“As far as I am concerned it is not a new development to dissolve cabinet when you want to make changes. It is particularly common in French-speaking countries.
It is not a new phenomenon, it happens in many countries where the cabinet is dissolved or ministers are asked to resign to give the President a free hand to reorganise his cabinet. So what President Chakwera did is not something new nor dramatic. It has been happening over the years,” he said.
“Ministers and officials who are deemed to be corrupt must be removed from office and face charges because no one is above the law. If there are sufficient grounds that have been established, ministers who are deemed to be corrupt, officials who are deemed to be corrupt, whether in the civil service or the parastatal sector must be removed and made to face the law. Corruption is unacceptable and should not be tolerated.
I know that in the past ministers went to court while in office which is a very strange phenomenon. You can’t have ministers who are charged for corruption, like we saw in the previous administration, going to court, flying a government flag, and being accompanied by either assistants accompanying the minister to court. That is not the way to do it. So there is a need to tidy up that aspect because it creates a poor impression.”
Malawi’s President Lazarus Chakwera on Monday sacked his entire cabinet over graft concerns, vowing to “confront all forms of lawless conduct by public officials”.
The decision followed meetings last week with two influential groups, the Episcopal Conference of Malawi and the Public Affairs Committee, which comprises church groups that act as a government watchdog.
Both groups expressed concern over the president’s indecisiveness in fighting corruption.
ECM, an assembly of Malawi’s Catholic bishops, said authorities must ensure that no one is “pressurised, intimidated or influenced” in the pursuit for justice.
“Let no suspect, however powerful, wealthy or who their connections are, be shielded or protected,” the bishops said in a statement.
Chakwera won 2020 elections by campaigning on promises to fight corruption in Malawi.
The land minister’s arrest was the second corruption scandal to erupt in less than a month.
Earlier in December, a corruption probe saw Malawi’s former finance minister and an ex-central bank governor arrested on allegations they manipulated accounts to obtain loans from the International Monetary Fund.