HRDC wants state to expedite corruption cases

HRDC

The Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has come out to condemn Government’s tolerance to corruption in the country.

HRDC members, led by chairperson, Gift Trapence made the call in Lilongwe on Wednesday where they asked the state to expedite cases of corruption both old and recent.

According to Trapence, they want government to establish the Financial Crimes Court that will dedicate time and resources to dealing with cases of public resources abuse and corruption with speed.

“We call upon the prosecuting agencies not to apply selective justice regardless of the status of suspects. We also call for better collaboration between the offices of the DPP, AG and ACB so that there is a seamless and more concerted approach to prosecuting high-level corruption cases.

"Finally, we call upon the President and Government to ensure that those holding public offices especially at the top level are relieved of their positions immediately they are connected to the abuse of public resources and corruption allegations so that they face the law without any due influence,” he said.

The coalition observes that the administrations from the Bakili Muluzi era have failed to improve the socio-economic status of Malawians despite promising so.

“We, at the HRDC, believe that abuse of state resources and corruption is the root cause of this state of affairs and the time for serious action to rid the country of this cancer is now so that the majority of Malawians can start enjoying the benefits of their labour.

"Over the years, we have seen individuals, both local and foreign, masquerading as investors but conniving with some evil-minded Malawians to defraud the already impoverished republic. Time has come to root out corruption in this country by prosecuting cases both those committed during the previous regimes and fresh ones to their logical conclusion,” reads the statement which Trapence read out.

They have also asked the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) and the Atoorney General to work together in expediting such cases instead of outshining each other.

“The country was shocked to learn from the Attorney General (AG) recently that compensation claims from people against the Government have gone up to K2 trillion which is more than the national budget currently standing at K1.9 trillion. Unfortunately, most of these claims are dubious, exaggerated and aimed at taking advantage of the government systems according to the AG. It is time we stepped up efforts to safeguard public resources. A country this poor cannot afford to bleed money like this. We cannot continue to run this country like business as usual. Things have to change and they have to change now,” he said.