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Thursday, 12 October, 2000, 17:46 GMT 18:46 UK
Malawi graft: UK talks tough
President Bakili Muluzi
Muluzi's government terms envoy's accusations undiplomatic
The UK high commissioner to Malawi has warned the country's ministers that Britain will not support corrupt governments.

Mr George Finlayson said Britain would not subsidise economic mismanagement nor would it give backing to leaders who were unwilling to take tough decisions.


These are evils which have failed Africa and we will not back failure

UK envoy
Mr Finlayson's remarks, made in the capital Lilongwe, come after a series of corruption allegations against members of President Bakili Muluzi's administration.

The comments did not go down well with the Malawian government with presidential press secretary Alaudin Osman terming them "surprising and undiplomatic".

'Corruption rallies'

It is alleged that the education ministry wrongfully awarded $2m in school construction contracts to President Muluzi's supporters who in turn made donations to last year's election campaigns.

Malawi's capital Lilongwe
Malawi is one of the leading recipients of UK aid
"We will not back those leaders who are unwilling to take tough decisions," Mr Finlayson told a closed door seminar on good governance attended by government secretaries and ministers.

"We will not subsidise economic mismanagement. These are evils which have failed Africa and we will not back failure", he said.

Early this week, President Muluzi insisted that he would not dismiss any ministers until they are formally accused of a crime.

Malawi is the third largest recipient of British foreign aid.

Britain provides funding for Malawi's police reform programme and its anti-corruption bureau which is conducting the investigations into the allegations.

The BBC's correspondent in Blantyre, Raphael Tenthani says the country's opposition is on a countrywide tour dubbed 'corruption rallies', to condemn the government for not taking decisive steps to curb the menace.

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14 Jun 99 | Africa
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