The Malawi Government has disclosed plans to establish a special court that will handle corruption-related matters in the country.
The Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Titus Mvalo, said the court shall be called Economic and Financial Crimes Court and is as one of the strategies the Tonse Alliance government is undertaking to expedite corruption cases, which usually take decades to conclude because of limited capacity.
Mvalo disclosed this at the media briefing he jointly held with the Minister of Information and Digitisation Gospel Kazako on Wednesday in Lilongwe.
He revealed that his ministry will push for the bill to introduce this special court which will be called the Economic and Financial Crime Court. He said this is a follow through to President Chakwera’s commitment to root out corruption in the country.
“As a follow up to President Lazarus Chakwera’s commitment to fighting corruption in the country, my ministry is planning a bill in parliament for the establishment of a special court which will deal with corruption and financial crimes in the country. The court will be called the Economic and Financial Crime Court,” Mvalo said.
The minister said there is a perception by the public that this government is not dedicated to the fight against corruption because cases have been dragging for years without being concluded.
Mvalo said the true picture of the matter is that the courts are overwhelmed with different cases apart from corruption cases which result in these cases taking too long to conclude.
The Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs further announced that the government is planning to introduce corruption as a subject in primary curriculum so that pupils should be told the evils of corruption while they are young.
“We have discovered that there is a sense of entitlement in this country because we treat corruption as part of our culture. As such, the government will introduce the subject of corruption in primary schools so that our children should grow up knowing the evils of corruption,” Mvalo said.
While commending the government on the strides it is making to curb corruption, the Minister suggested that the government should explore and focus more on corruption prevention. He noted that preventing corruption will be cost-effective since letting corruption escalate is costly through investigation and time consuming.
“If it was put to me to decide which one to concentrate on, I will choose prevention as the effective way of fighting this vice because it saves costs. In the future we will appeal to our partners to invest more in prevention,” Mvalo said.
Fighting against corruption is one fundamental pillars of President Chakweras Hi-5 Agenda.
Since he came to power, President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera has expressed his total commitment to fighting graft in the country.
In the 2022-2023, there has been a big increase of the budget allocation to the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to signify this commitment.