Malawi VP says corruption has hit ’embarrassing levels’

Malawi’s President Peter Mutharika (R) and vice president Saulos Chilima in a past function

Malawi’s vice president Saulos Chilima has condemned high levels of corruption in his country, saying the vice was putting people’s lives at risk.

Chilima made the remarks at a rally in central Malawi, accusing politicians from his own party, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), of being responsible for the vice.

“Let us condemn corruption. Let us stop handclapping thieves. Corruption is worsening and is reached embarrassing levels. It is an evil practice which puts lives of people at risk as it leads to drug shortage in hospitals, among other things,” local Nyasa Times newspaper quotes him to have said.

The landlocked southeastern African country has for long been dogged by corruption.

Transparency International – which awards points from 0 to 100, with 0 being highly corrupt – gave Malawi just 32 points in 2017.

The timing of Chilima’s comments has however prompted talk of him eyeing the presidency in next year’s elections.

President Peter Mutharika, 79, has already indicated he wants to run again, but others want the younger Mr Chilima as the DPP candidate.