As the Anti-Corruption Bureau(ACB) commemorates its 25th Anniversary, the National Construction Industry Council (NCIC) joined it with anti-corruption awareness and prevention drive targeting communities along the M001 rehabilitation Project. Held from the 20th to the 21st of November 2023, the awareness and prevention campaign saw the team pitching at Chimwaza Trading Center, Mponera Town, Kasungu Boma, Chatoloma and Jenda Trading Centers.
The construction industry is one of the sectors with high corruption perception according to Transparency International’s (TI) recent Corruption Perception Indices. ‘TI’ also indicates that the corruption challenge in the construction industry is mostly prevalent in emerging economies as they tend to invest heavily in infrastructure development in order to accelerate social-economic development. Such huge investments, sadly, attracts malpractices that usually bleeds bribery and corruption; according to reports.
The M001 Road Rehabilitation project was launched by the His Excellency the President, Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, president of the Republic of Malawi on the 12th of July 2022, at Mtiti in Dowa District during which he reiterated the need for transparency and accountability in project implementation. He said, “On the progress of these projects, Malawians deserve to see and hear how the projects we are implementing across the country are progressing”. He further indicated that his desire for transparency and accountability is the reason why in April 2021 he assumed the role of CoST Malawi Champion. CoST-The Infrastructure Transparency Initiative is a country centered global program aimed at driving value for money from publicly financed infrastructure projects. The president further directed the ACB and NCIC to jointly ‘police’ the implementation of the rehabilitation project.
Speaking on the awareness campaign trail, Chief Executive Officer for NCIC, Eng. Gerald Khonje, pointed out that the joint effort aims at fostering transparency and accountability in the implementation of the M001 Rehabilitation project. He further indicated that corruption in construction projects not only compromises the quality and safety of infrastructure projects but also undermines public trust in implementing agencies and erodes potential gains in national development.
NCIC’s new corporate direction has Integrity amongst its core values which also include Quality, Partnership. Agility and Innovation and Stakeholder Focus. These values are fondly abbreviated as QIPAS. On the basis of the values of Integrity and Partnership, NCIC established its Institutional Integrity Committee (ICC) which works hand in hand with the ACB is enhancing ant-corruption awareness and prevention both at institutional and industry level.
The 347 kilometers road rehabilitation project of Malawi’s main single carriageway includes civil works along five distinct road sections identified from north to south including Karonga-Songwe (46km); Kecheche-Chiweta (66km); Jenda-Mzimba (47km); Kasungu-Jenda (86km); Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) – Kasungu (102 km); and is being co-funded with a grant from the European Union, Malawi Government and a loan from the European Bank.