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Malawi President Says He Is Fighting Corruption

Newly elected Malawian president Peter Mutharika signs the oath book after he was sworn in, at the High Court in Blantyre, Malawi, May 31, 2014.
Malawi's President Supporting Reforms to Fight Corruption
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The leader of Malawi said this month that his administration is working to end corruption by ensuring accountability and preventing financial crimes.

President Arthur Peter Mutharika said he will not accept corruption. He also said he wants to reestablish a culture where people take responsibility for their actions.

Donor support provides money for nearly 40 percent of Malawi's budget. But much of that financial support has been withdrawn. Government officials were accused of stealing millions of dollars in public money. Malawi economists say the country suffers from high inflation and the falling value of its money.

President Mutharika spoke with VOA. He said Malawi's main foreign exchange earner, tobacco, is also facing problems. He says his government is taking steps to strengthen the economy and the country. The president has restricted local and international travel for all government officials. He said the measure will save the government about $20 million.

Malawians are experiencing electrical outages and tap water shortages, which some say could hurt Mr. Mutharika's re-election campaign. The president said his administration is looking at different ways to produce more energy.

The publication African Review reported that Mr. Mutharika was among the top 10 African presidents with high pay compared to the average earnings in their countries.

But he has denied that his pay is hurting Malawi’s economy. He says parliament raised the wages of lawmakers, which also raised his salary. The president added that he, the vice-president and other Cabinet officials will not take the money until the economy improves.

I’m Jonathan Evans.

VOA’s Peter Clottey reported on this story from Washington. Jonathan Evans adapted it for Learning English. George Grow was the editor.


Words in This Story

accountability - n. being responsible for something