The alliance against serious and organised corruption, a movement of four led CSOs has courted the members of parliament to support the movement in the bid to fight serious and organised corruption in Malawi. The alliance which is comprised of the Center for Human Rights and Rehabilitation(CHRR), Malawi Law Society(MLS), Youth and Society(YAS) and Church and Society teamed up to contribute towards the eradication of the vice.
On 30th September, 2019, the alliance held a dinner interface meeting with two parliamentary committees: The Public Accounts and Legal Affairs Committee at Lilongwe Hotel to share the assessment report’s findings on the effectiveness of accountability mechanisms by the alliance. The interface meeting drew 35 members of parliament from different political parties. The meeting also provided a platform of introducing the alliance. The meeting was further aimed at sharing with MPs the current status of corruption in Malawi and also discuss how parliament through the two committees would work with the alliance to address the issues relating to corruption.
The meeting exposed a number of gaps that exist in the fight against corruption. Members of parliament noted that lack of collaboration was heavily affecting a run up in the fight against corruption. They cited lack of involvement of the Public Accounts Committee and the Ant Corruption Bureau as another gap . They further bemoaned the little efforts being done in the assets recovery evidenced by the dubbed cash gate scandal. It was further noted that due to poor funding, parliamentary committees such as the legal, public and the Ant Corruption Bureau at large it is difficult to meet regularly to look at serious matters of corruption.
Members of parliament then resoluted that there is need to develop a memorandum of understanding between the alliance and members of parliament and other key stakeholders which will guide formation and operationalization of the partnership. It was also suggested that there is need to review the law governing asset recovery so that those who benefit from proceedings of corruption should pay back. The meeting also resolved that government will be pushed to strengthen its relationship with other countries so that proceeds of corruption, elicit financial flows and offshore accounts should be accessible by authorities in Malawi.
Meanwhile, members of parliament have pledged their commitment to collaborate with the alliance in addressing serious and organised corruption in the country. They have committed to push the government to capacitate local councils and those that are involved in implementing policies at council level.
Speaking at the closure of the meeting, alliance chairperson, Moses Mkandawire thanked members of parliament for expressing optimism in the fight against serious and organised corruption. He then urged members of parliament to push for the operationalization of the Access to information law which is crucial in the fight against corruption. He assured the members of parliament of maximum collaboration in advocacy.
Under its project, United Against Serious and Organised Corruption(UASOC), the alliance is using four major strategies which includes advocacy, litigation, civic awareness and citizen’s mobilization. Currently it has set up its priority corruption cases which will be pursued.