Are anti-corruption mechanisms working in developing countries? Challenges and lessons from Malawi’s public bureaucracy
Malawi’s political transition from single-party rule to a multi-party dispensation in 1994 gave hope to the fight against corruption in the public bureaucracy. However, the plunder of public resources by high-profile public officials amidst the establishment of anti-corruption initiatives raises questions about the efficacy of mechanisms for combating corruption in Malawi. Therefore, this paper examines the mechanisms established to fight corrupt practices and the factors contributing to the persistence of corruption in Malawi’s public bureaucracy. The study reveals that Malawi’s public bureaucracy is characterised by weak policy and legal frameworks as well as inadequate institutional capacity, inadequate resources and serious administrative inefficiencies. The fight against corruption requires a multi-pronged strategy and effective coordination of the multiple interests, which include enforcement of ethics, capacity building, promotion of accountability and active involvement of the citizens in governance.