Malawi: Catholic Bishops Demand Speed in Prosecuting Corruption Cases

Catholic Bishops in Malawi have demanded speed in the delivery of justice in corruption cases, stressing the slow pace at which the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) is prosecuting the cases raises questions.

Through their Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM), the clerics have issued a pastoral statement in which they are raising many concerns, including disjointed fight against graft.

“The way the fight against corruption is being waged is posing more questions than answers: Is there a serious cooperation and coordination among government institutions mandated to deal with corruption? Why is there lack of noticeable progress on many corruption cases that involve the politically and business connected? Why are there long delays in any action being taken in response to reports submitted by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to the relevant authorities? Who is being protected? Whose interests are being served? Are the seemingly public actions against the graft done in good faith or are they meant to serve the hidden political interests of a few?” they ask.

The Catholic Bishops in Malawi include Most Reverend George Desmond Tambala, ECM president, his vice Bishop Monfort Sitima of Mangochi Diocese, Archbishop Thomas Luke Msusa of Blantyre Archdiocese, Right Reverend Peter Musikuwa of Chikwawa Diocese, Right Reverend Martin Mtumbuka of Karonga Diocese, Right Reverend John Ryan of Mzuzu Diocese and Right Reverend Peter Chifukwa of Dedza Diocese.

The collared men say it is their church’s considered view that certain bureaucratic elements within the legal and institutional framework have deliberately derailed the fight against corruption.

The clerics says Malawians expect ACB, the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP), the Attorney General, the Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA) and the Fiscal Police to work together to serve the public interests when discharging their functions and obligations.

“We, the Catholic Bishops in Malawi, are deeply disturbed to note that some of the long-time defenders of the poor of the poorest in our country have now become spokespersons of the powerful and the rich – leaving the weakest citizens of our country groping in the dark alone in search of economic justice.

“While we appreciate the complex and complicated nature of systematic and organised corruption, we call upon all those tasked with its elimination to do their duty without delay on behalf of the citizens of Malawi,” reads part of the pastoral statement.

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