Summon Political Will To Fight And Defeat Corruption, Banda Urges African Leaders

Joyce Banda, President of Malawi
Joyce Banda, President of Malawi

President of Malawi, Mrs. Joyce Banda, yesterday, called on African leaders to summon the political will and courage to fight and defeat corruption, in order to deepen the dividends of democracy and advance the development of the continent.

Banda whose exemplary leadership in Malawi is lauded world round, said she is prepared to stake her life and political career in fighting corruption in Malawi where the culture of graft has become endemic and entrenched by a few members of the privileged group at the expense of the larger society.

The Malawian President, who was in Lagos as the keynote speaker at the 14th Anyiam Osigwe Lecture entitled, ‘Genuine Democracy: The Price and the Prize,’ at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, NIIA, Lagos said the experience of Malawi is repleted all over the continent where fighting corruption is not an easy task “because it had become entrenched,” but she insisted that “someone has to do it.”

According to Mrs. Banda: “Anyiam Osigwe Foundation recognises leadership that focuses on wholesome police that can uplift nations. I share the sentiments of the late Anyiam Osigwe. Democracy and good leadership are important foundations for good leadership to thrive. When it is responsive there can be economic growth.

“Democracy that does not carry its people along is not sustainable. That is why I have put in policies to ensure that Malawi does not become an example of a failed nation. I am achieving this by reducing poverty, dependence on donor agencies and running of an inclusive government.”

Also speaking chairman of the event, Professor Ibrahim Gambari said: “Our long standing quest for the progressive development of Nigeria and indeed the African continent, the theme for the 2013 lecture is apt for the season.

“Some two decades after after African countries began the process of restoring multi-party politics and democratically elected governments founded on constitutional order, citizens’ rights and the rule of law, the time is right for us to engage in some stocktaking.”

Gambari noted that the fight against corruption must include punishment for those who were implicated in acts of corruption in Nigeria.

He said: “Such an exercise would enable us to access the quality of our efforts with a view to deepening the roots of democratic governance across our continent.

“We ask ourselves the kinds of hard questions about the road we have travelled, what experience has meant for our people in terms of their lived experiences and what alternatives are available to us for forging ahead with even greater determination to build and sustain just, stable, prosperous and democratic nations.

“For all the challenges we have faced in this country and as a people and these are many and must not be diminished. There are some parameters which have become an enduring part of our political culture and which ought always to be remembered and celebrated,” Gamabari said.