The impact of corruption on the Malawian construction industry


  • Mulima Phiri Medupi Power Station
  • John Smallwood Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University


Corruption, Bribery, Tender, Contractors


The background of corruption dates back to 2000 years ago. Corruption takes the form of bribery, extortion, cronyism, nepotism, graft, and embezzlement. The main medium of corruption is poorly functioning institutions, with policies that undermine free trade and competition. The objectives of this article are as follows: first, to establish the impact of corruption regarding tender procurement; secondly, to evaluate corrupt practices which create dominance of particular contractors over others, and lastly, to examine corruption regarding the maintenance of the built environment. The survey was limited to community development projects based in and around the Blantyre commercial district. The respondents were sampled for their knowledge, experience, education and expertise regarding community development projects. The findings indicate that all tender board officials are imminently enticed into corrupt practices relating to their respective positions held in the organisation; oligopolism is the main factor in the dominance of contractors over others in the Malawian construction industry, and corruption leads to relatively lower fund allocation for the maintenance of the built environment. The article concludes that corruption does impact on the Malawian construction industry in various ways. Recommendations to limit corruption include the implementation of the following corruption-mitigating measures: break the taboo against discussing corruption; demonstrate how corruption occurs; mobilise key constituencies, and implement anti-corruption policies.


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How to Cite

Phiri, M. and Smallwood, J. (2010) “The impact of corruption on the Malawian construction industry”, Acta Structilia, 17(2), pp. 107-125. Available at: (Accessed: 7December2021).



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