Malawi’s Vice President, Everton Chimulirenji has warned newly appointment cabinet ministers and their deputies against corrupt practices when discharging of their duties, saying the law would take its course on any corrupt official.
Chimulirenji shot the warning on Monday during the opening of a two-day orientation workshop at Sunbird Nkopola Lodge in Mangochi District.
The Vice-President described the cabinet as a very important body within the political executive undertaking important decisions regarding the government’s policy agenda, legislation, spending proposals and political strategy, hence the need for diligence on the part of the cabinet members.
He said government’s stance against corruption remained zero tolerance and that government would fight corruption, fraud, theft and other economic crimes and evils that derail the country’s efforts in the fight against poverty and underdevelopment.
“As ministers and deputy ministers, you are required to lead this fight; I urge you all to desist from engaging in corrupt practices,” said Chimulirenji.
He added: “As His Excellency the President has said in the past, the law will take its course on any minister, deputy minister or any public officer who will be proven to be involved in corrupt practices.”
The second citizen said was happy that there was a presentation on the subject and a highlight of penalties that the law prescribes for those proven to be engaged in corrupt practices.
Chimulirenji stressed that President Mutharika had always regarded corruption as evil and that he would not protect anyone holding a public office, be it a minister or cabinet minister, involved in corruption.
On the skills and knowledge gained during the orientation, Chimulirenji urged the cabinet ministers and their deputies to make use of them to discharge their duties effectively and efficiently.
“You will be oriented on the laws and regulations that will guide your operations, key institutions that you will be required to interact with, your expected public conduct as ministers and deputy ministers and general principles governing cabinet business, among others.
“It [the workshop] will serve to equip you with skills and knowledge regarding your functions as Ministers and Deputy Ministers,” he added.
Earlier, Chief Secretary to the government Lloyd Muhara also challenged members of the cabinet that the president had entrusted them with the positions and that it was incumbent upon them to perform.
“There are dos and don’ts when serving as a cabinet minister according to law and this workshop will help you to be fully equipped with management skills so that you should help the president in discharging the country’s vision,” explained Muhara.
Minister of Agriculture, Kondwani Nankhumwa, described the meeting as an eye opener to the members of the cabinet saying it would help them serve better in their various portfolios.
Nankhumwa concurred with the Vice-President on the need for the cabinet ministers to lead in the fight against corruption describing it as evil and retrogressive to the development of the country.