The 2014 Transparency International’s (TI’s) Corruption Perceptions Index has ranked the country on position 110 of 175 countries and territories that have been assessed.

The country has slide down with 19 steps from position 91 in 2013 (TI’s) Corruption Perceptions Index to 110 due to various forms of corruption – from high level political corruption, patronage, nepotism to petty bribery.

It is very clear from this trend that a lot needs to be done to improve our situation and hence improve the economy and the overall standard of living for all Malawians, especially that of the majority poor.

While the common temptation will be to attribute the current CPI ranking to the recent looting of public money in government offices it should also be appreciated that Malawi’s poor trend on the CPI is a result of many other factors beyond cash-gate’.

After 20 years of multi-party democracy the obvious and fair expectation would be that the country has adequate checks and balances to oversee good governance in its structures and systems.

Unfortunately, evidence is common about deteriorating ethics and integrity in our governance structures and systems.

Malawi signed and ratified the United Nations Convention Against Corruption in 2004 and 2007 respectively. The country launched the National Anti-Corruption Strategy in 2008, as a holistic approach to fighting corruption.

In the past 20 years of Malawi’s democracy institutions and pieces of legislation have been established to help oversee good governance. These have included the establishment of institutions such as the Anti-Corruption Bureau, the Malawi Human Rights Commission, the Office of the Ombudsman, the Financial Intelligence Unit and pieces of legislation such as the Public Finance Management Act, Public Audit Act and the Public Procurement Act.

Despite this demonstrated commitment, corruption has continued to manifest in various forms in all sectors of the economy

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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