European Union (EU) Ambassador to Malawi, Rune Skinnebach, has said corruption is a very big obstacle for development in the country.
Ambassador Skinnebach was speaking at Sunbird Mzuzu Hotel on Tuesday night when he was meeting journalists belonging to Nyika Media Club (NMC).
He was speaking when President Lazarus Chakwera had just addressed the nation on the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) report resulting in among other things, firing the Inspector General of Police, suspending the State House Chief of Staff and withholding delegated powers for the Vice President.
“Let me say that the levels of corruption in this country are a big obstacle for development. I see how corruption is stealing means away from the health facilities that Malawians deserve. I see how corruption is stealing money from the education system that Malawians deserve and I see corruption stealing funds from public services in general, that Malawians need, including infrastructure.
“I think any steps forward in the fight against corruption are more valuable,” remarked Ambassador Skinnebach.
Asked by Nyasa Times if he thought EU had done enough in helping to develop Malawi, Skinnebach said Malawians have a lot do before development partners can come in.
“We need to continuously improve our coordination, improve the capacities of government, and improve in rightful values namely transparency, democracy, accountability, human rights and rule of law. But the question should be: have Malawians done enough for their country?” he said.
Chairperson for Nyika Media Club, Joseph Mwale, said journalists were vital in the fight against corruption.
“As media, we are said to be the fourth estate or the fourth arm of government. It was therefore important for the Ambassador to meet us. You are aware that EU has been a development partner for Malawi for so long and it was important to see how best we can work together in the fight against corruption,” Mwale explained.
Nyika Media Club is a grouping of journalists from all media institutions from all the five districts in the northern region of Malawi.
The report says public officers from Malawi Defence Force (MDF), Malawi Police, Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC), Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA), Office of President and Cabinet, Office of the Vice President, Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), Judiciary, Ministry of Finance, Ministry Information, Ministry Tourism, Homeland Security, allegedly received bribes from Sattar between March 2021-October 2021.