Public worries over high level of borrowing; But welcomes Chakwera’s assent to amendment of Corrupt Practices Act

* The President assented 7 Bills on Friday with six being approval for loan authorizations

*The government played a smart move by slotting in the 5 loan authorization Bills

* Knowing the citizenry will be excited with the word corrupt that would divert their attention

By Duncan Mlanjira

Malawi citizenry has expressed worry over government’s high level of borrowing after President Lazarus Chakwera assented Bills on Friday, September 9, that were passed in Parliament — with six being approval for loan authorizations.


However, the public has applauded the President for assenting the amendment of the Corrupt Practices Act, that allows the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to prosecute corruption cases without seeking the approval of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP).

They loans authorizations are:

1. Act No. 20 of 2022–International Development Association (Emergency Power Restoration Project;

2. Act No. 21 of 2022–African Development Fund (Agricultural Emergency Food Production Facility;

3. Act No. 22 of 2022–International Development Association (Swcond Additional Financing for Malawi CoVID-19 Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness Project;

4. Act No. 23 of 2022–International Development Association (Additional Financing for Malawi Social Support for Resilient Livelihoods Project;

5. Act No. 24 of 2022–Additional Financing for Eastern and Southern African Higher Education Africa Centres of Excellence Project; and

6. Act No. 25 of 2022–International Development Association (Shire Valley Transformation Program-Phase 2).

President Chakwera

As the public took to social media congratulating Chakwera for approving the amendment of the Corrupt Practices Act, which attracted fierce debate when it was being proposed, several others expressed their worry on the high level of borrowing.

Commenting of Facebook, Bertha Lilian Mkandawire said the government played a “smart move” by slotting in the 5 loan authorization Bills, knowing the citizenry “will be excited with the word corruption” that would divert their attention.

“Meanwhile, we are getting a second loan for CoVID-19 emergency response and health systems preparedness,” she said. “[Yet] they have not accounted for 80% of CoVID funds, including the CoVID funds (or was it donation) that was meant to cushion vulnerable people livelihoods.


“World Health Organization just announced that CoVID deaths are now less than 20% and no longer a threat, however, we should continue to follow the prevention steps — anyone with a comprehensive CoVID report?”

Blessings Makanani said: “Koma chiwanda cha ngongole chikanatichoka abale (the tendency of falling into too much debt should have spared the government”) and concluded that its “like government, like citizen. Back to sender.”

However, Viktor Ivan Nyirenda wondered why people are worried over the approval of the loans, yet they never made any comment as Parliament debated on the same up until they had been approved.

Just as Bertha Lilian Mkandawire alluded that the government played a “smart move” by slotting in the 5 loan authorization Bills, the majority gave Chakwera the thumbs up for the amendment of the Corrupt Practices Act, with Alexis Xanda Chimpea saying: “Way to go Mr. President.”

Several others were relieved while hinting that corruption suspects should now be afraid, since ACB Director General, Martha Chizuma has been given enough ammunition to proceed with cases that the DPP didn’t give consent to.

Martha Chizuma

In his support for the amended Act, Enock Sankhulani Banda alluded that somehow, Chakwera’s administration might have some shortfalls for the moment, but given “proper advisers, he could make a good leader”.

Others focused on the judiciary, saying this is “another bottleneck that needs to be dismantled” in as far as the fight against corruption is to be won, indicating that the authorities should reassess the decision to prolong judges number of years of their retirement.

Some more commentators were of the opinion that the amendment of the Corrupt Practices Act should have gone together with the proposal of the special corruption sitting through the Financial Crimes Court, saying: “We need all systems to work in tandem”.

Hazrat Hassan summed it up by saying: “Hoping the courts will not be letting ACB down with their usual delays. I think Government should set a special judge for all corruption cases for speedy trials.”