Asset declaration help prevent abuse of power: Saara

23 Jun 2015 12:10pm
WINDHOEK, 23 JUN (NAMPA) – Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila says Parliament is busy with the process to implement a revised system to declare members’ business interests soon.
She said this during the opening of the three-day National Anti-Corruption Conference in the capital on Monday.
The conference is taking place under the theme “Building an honest Namibia together: People, Integrity and Action”.
“We believe that an effective declaration regime can help prevent the abuse of power, reduce corruption and increase public accountability, public trust in institutions and Government legitimacy,” said Kuugongelwa-Amadhila.
President Hage Geingob and First Lady Monica Geingos were the first presidential couple in Africa to declare their assets in May this year.
The Finance Minister noted that research findings indicate that countries where wealth disclosure is combined with content verification and public access to declarations are associated with lower perceived levels of corruption.
“I would like to mention that the government has decided to make asset disclosure by public office bearers and civil servants mandatory,” she said.
Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, however, said fighting corruption is not solely the responsibility of the government and the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), but requires collective action by all to ensure that those who commit crimes are brought to justice.
Speaking at the same occasion, Minister of Economic Planning in the Presidency and Director-General of the National Planning Commission, Tom Alweendo said Government acknowledges that corruption can have a negative effect on national development, thus the country signed and ratified the United NationsÂ’ Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) in 2003.
“We went as far as enacting several laws aimed at creating an enabling environment for the prevention of corruption and promotion of ethics and integrity,” he said.
Alweendo, who also spoke on how the prevention of corruption can influence the country's ability to achieve Vision 2030 goals and ideals, said corruption can not only affect economic development in terms of economic efficiency and growth but can also affect equitable distribution of resources and increase income inequality.
He stressed that corruption can add to the cost of doing business and making the economy less competitive. It also leads to misallocation of investments, both public and private, where resources are allocated not because of what is good for society or shareholders, but rather on opportunity for self-enrichment.
The conference ends on Wednesday.