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REPUBLIC OF MALAWI

ADDRESS
BY
HIS EXCELLENCY
PROF. ARTHUR PETER MUTHARIKA
PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF MALAWI
ON
INTERNATIONAL ANTI-CORRUPTION
ANTI CORRUPTION DAY
AT
CHISUTU COMMUNITY GROUND, MULANJE
17TH DECEMBER, 2015

Your Excellency, the First Lady Madam Gertrude Mutharika;

The Vice President of the Republic of Malawi, Right Honourable Dr. Saulos
Chilima ;

Your Lordship the Chief Justice, Hon. Andrew Nyirenda SC;

The Chief Secretary to the Government, Mr. George Mkondiwa;

The Speaker of Parliament Honourable Richard Msowoya, MP;

The Director General of the Anti-Corruption Bureau; Mr. Lucas Kondowe

The Deputy Director General of Anti-Corruption Bureau Mr. Reyneck Matemba;

UNDP Resident Representative; Ms. Mia Seppo

Members of the Diplomatic Corps;

The Chairman of the National Integrity Committee, Paramount Chief Kyungu;

Honourable Members of Parliament;

The District Commissioner of Mulanje District Council, Mr. Fred Movete;

The Chairman of Council, Councillor Manuel Bambala

Leaders of various Political Parties;

Media and Civil Society members

Distinguished invited guests;

Ladies and Gentlemen.

Today, we gather to renew our war against one of the deadliest enemies of this country.
We gather to remember that this country is at war against corruption. And we gather to
summon our patriotic spirit to fight that war!

Corruption, or any act of stealing public funds, is an enemy that kills our nation. It denies
medicine from those suffering in our hospitals; it denies learning resources from our
children to frustrate our future; and it drains resources for building roads and bridges to
frustrate development of this country. Corruption is a deadly enemy we must fight in an
all-out war!

But it takes patriotism to fight for the noble cause of your country. You cannot fight
corruption if you are not patriotic. We must all stand on the pillar of patriotism to wage
war against corruption. Therefore, I fully endorse the principle in the theme for this
commemoration: Patriotism is the key to the doors of conquering corruption.

The first thing Malawi needs is to win the war of principles. Let us change our mindset.
After all, the best human wars are fought and won in the heart. Every day, we must be
driven by the best principles to drive this country forward.
Apart from patriotism, we must be driven by the principle of hard work. Most people
walk into traps of corruption or stealing public funds because they want to make money
the easy way.

But determination and hard work is the only path to success. Work and earn whatever
little you deserve. And poverty or a low salary is not an excuse. There are many poor
Malawians in our villages who have the integrity to tell you that kukakhala kusauka
ndikwanga if you try to corrupt them. We need to make integrity part of our culture.

I also believe that honesty and integrity are the best policies for any institution. If we had
the principled character of honesty and integrity, there would be no Cashgate, and

Malawians would not have been suffering as much as they are now. If we all had
honesty and integrity, there would be no corruption.

Related to this, is another principle of accountability. To be an honest person, you must


be accountable to yourself before anyone else. In a democracy, everyone must be
accountable to someone else. And we are all accountable to God and the Law.

And because we are all accountable to the Law, anyone and I mean anyone, can be
prosecuted. Even my serving cabinet ministers understand that. And I want every public
servant to get this right. There is no perfect way of committing a crime!

If you cross the Law, we will catch you, and we will prosecute you. No one is above the
Law of this land. You can hide but you cannot escape the long hand of the Law.

Prosecution is not persecution! In prosecution, you investigate first and arrest someone
for genuinely breaking the Law, after gathering evidence. In persecution, you arrest for
political or personal motive and investigate only to rubberstamp the arrest. I am
impressed that, under my Government, the Anti-Corruption Bureau has been extremely
professional in investigating thoroughly before arresting anyone. No wonder, the ACB
has not lost any Cashgate case.

Congratulations! And for a patriotic job well done, you deserve a loud handclap!

The fight against corruption remains a top priority of my Government. And we will
continue to adopt a zero tolerance to corruption. We will continue prosecuting the
culprits. We are reforming the financial systems that people exploit. We are thus
reviewing the National Anti-Corruption Strategy to ensure that it addresses the lessons
learnt. We are cultivating a culture of patriotism, integrity and hard work in Malawians
because corruption is also a moral problem.

And to those who think they can escape prosecution, I have this to say. Dont delude
yourself that the Law will stop from prosecuting you by playing the propaganda of
victimization. You cannot bluff Malawians that you are being persecuted when the Law
prosecutes you.

As for me, I have no personal cause to persecute anyone. I never act out malice, hate
and vengeance. Malice, hate, and vengeance are not part of my nature. These are
motives of petty character.

Before I conclude, I want to commend all Non-Governmental Organizations who are


fighting corruption. Please, continue and aggressively engage more combating gears.
Your project approaches must include detection, rejection, exposing and reporting of
any corrupt and fraudulent acts.

I commend the media for the role you play in exposing corruption, fraud and other
economic crimes. That is an act of patriotism. But just as ACB investigates thoroughly
before arresting, we also expect you to investigate before publishing speculation.

Finally, I want to thank our development and cooperating partners for fighting with us in
this anti-corruption war. In particular, I want to thank the Royal Norwegian Government,
Irish Government and DFID for their support.

In conclusion, I have this final warning to all Malawians, particularly those of you in the
public service. While we fight corruption, we need the right discipline and performance
to generate more resources. This country is moving towards economic sovereignty. But
we will not get there with corruption, laziness and underperformance. Let me warn that I
will be tough on performance and I will shake up the system whenever I mean to. Let
this be remembered!

I love my country. You love your country. Let us serve Malawi with patriotism, integrity
and hard work.

MAY GOD BLESS MOTHER MALAWI AND GOD BLESS YOU ALL!