Leah Malekano Zbs.Auth!

Leah Malekano Zbs.Auth!

Parliament has pledged to strengthen its internal processes and measures to prevent corruption among its rank and file and advocate for strong anti-corruption policies and laws at national level.

The commander of the Malawi Defence Force, General Paul Valentino Phiri, claims that some top government officials, politicians and influential business persons are influencing  and bribing MDF soldiers at check-points.

General Phiri said this at a press briefing in Lilongwe yesterday, where he addressed security issues in the country and clarification on issues surrounding the Chilumba roadblock.

The developments come following an outcry from communities surrounding Chirumba barracks in Karonga, that the MDF soldiers subject them to various forms of abuses when they are passing at the roadblock, which is manned by the soldiers.

General Phiri said these people engage in such acts in order to pass their goods at the check points.
He said MDF will report the perpetrators to the Anti-Corruption Bureau and other relevant authorities.

"The military is not a court, and we are not the police to arrest people.  Unfortunately, we find people who have actually contravened certain statues of the country. What we do is hand them over to the appropriate stakeholders, who will be able to deal with them, and that is what we have done," explained General Phiri.

He further says  that his institution will conduct a survey on why soldiers are being involved in such acts now.

"We are planning to conduct a survey, to establish why some soldiers are behaving like this, and intensify more on instilling discipline in our colleges. It is just a few individuals who may decide to be doing business in a very unusual way. Soldiering is about following what you have been directed and not doing your own things," he said.

Governance expert George Chaima says it is important for these influential people to let the law enforcers do their job without fear or favour.

"If that is the case, what everybody, including politicians, should know, is that we are putting our national security at stake, because security matters need to be managed professionally," said Chaima.

Residents of Area 18B in Lilongwe have expressed concern over unattended sewer pipe which leaked two months ago but the responsible authorities have turned a blind eye. According to the residents around the place, the sewer pipe has been producing a bad smell which forces the residents to always be indoors.

The Media Institute for Southern Africa (MISA) Malawi Chapter has challenged the government to urgently repeal some laws that impede media freedom, including criminal defamation laws and the Electronic Transactions and Cyber Security Act.

The Independent Complaints Commission (ICC), an agency that looks into the conduct of the police, is set to start a fresh probe in May on women and girls who were allegedly raped by police officers in some parts of Lilongwe.

After 18 days of debate, parliament on Thursday passed the 2023/2024 national budget which is pegged at K3.788 trillion.

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