ACC must arrest the ‘big fish’: Erongo Governor

09 Apr 2015 15:50pm
SWAKOPMUND, 09 APR (NAMPA) – Governor of the Erongo Region, Cleophas Mutjavikua said there is a serious need to prosecute high-profile people accused of corruption in Namibia.
Mutjavikua made the call to officers of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) during a media conference here on Thursday.
“The big fish must be dealt with, and my observation is that the ACC’s target when it comes to such people is very low. So far, more focus has been on low-profile people. There are people accused of embezzling millions of dollars, so bring them to book,” urged the governor.
He said the significance of fighting corruption couldn’t be re-emphasised, as it robs communities of economic freedom and delays development.
“The public will lose faith in the ACC if there is not much success. If they are always hearing that cases are investigated but nothing is concluded, then they might not be willing to expose corruption,” said Mutjavikua.
He emphasized that there should be a time frame for investigations and the finalisation of corruption cases.
“We cannot just investigate forever, there should be a time frame so that cases can be completed and the public know the results. We even provide information to you so that you can investigate and arrest the suspects, so there should be no excuse,” he stressed while addressing members of the ACC during the media briefing.
Reporters at the conference also indicated that the ACC should disclose information on cases being dealt with to inform the nation accordingly.
Journalists noted that the more corruption reports are in the media, the stronger the message to the public to refrain from corruption.
In response, the senior investigating officer for the ACC in the Erongo Region, Walter Kurz said the public watchdog aims to prosecute people of all profiles.
“Honourable governor, the information known to the public now is only about people who have been prosecuted and other cases might be pending because we are investigating and working on them,” said Kurz.
Since January 2014, a total of 75 cases were registered in Erongo of which 20 people were prosecuted.
Kurz said at the moment, his office is dealing with the following corruption cases: Grand and Granville Noble who allegedly bribed State witnesses to change their statements; Elia Ndumba, an immigration officer accused of bribery emanating from abusing entry and departure stamps. Ndumba allegedly allowed an Angolan businessperson to stay in Namibia for longer than legally allowed during 2012.
Another case involves Hubert Simana from the Roads Authority, who is accused of accepting a bribe from two Chinese nationals to get rid of certain documents dealing with their case; Anthony Scholtz from the Henties Bay Municipality, who is accused of selling two erven which were already sold to someone else; Moses Veiko, an employee of Namibia Food and Allied Workers' Union (NAFAU), who is charged for accepting a bribe. He allegedly received money from an employer to convince union members working for that employer to accept a lower salary increment as opposed to what they asked.