There is political will to fight corruption: Geingob

08 Feb 2018 14:00pm
WINDHOEK, 08 FEB (NAMPA) – President Hage Geingob said contrary to “misplaced perceptions” in the quest to end corruption, there is political will from Government to root out corruption in Namibia, as demonstrated by various Cabinet decisions.
Geingob made these remarks during the first Cabinet meeting of the year at State House on Thursday.
He was, however, quick to acknowledge that allegations and perceptions of corruption continue to taint the government.
This has led to the public losing faith and confidence in some elected public office bearers and in some Government ministries and agencies, admitted Geingob.
“Contrary to misplaced perceptions that we lack the political will to fight corruption, Cabinet has taken difficult decisions to tackle corruption,” he said.
He pointed to the reversal of the Hosea Kutako International Airport tender, investigations into the inflated cost of the national oil storage facility at Walvis Bay and the Neckartal Dam in the //Kharas Region as interventions by Cabinet.
Additionally, he noted with concern the numerous claims of corruption being levelled against public officials, including those in his Cabinet.
“Corruption and complicity to corruption would be when Government closes its eyes or looks the other way. This year, we intend to intensify efforts to fight corruption and enhance transparency and accountability,” he said.
The President cautioned that corruption was “a devastating crime which, if not addressed, erodes and damages any country’s gains”.
He also said Namibia’s fight against corruption was in line with the African Union (AU) ‘Convention on the Prevention and Combating of Corruption’.
In Namibia’s endeavour to combat corruption, Geingob cited the establishment of independent institutions and the Whistleblower Protection Act as efforts to root out corruption.
“All these efforts are driven by a clear will to political will of zero tolerance towards corruption,” he emphasised, adding that continuous allegations of malpractice and incompetence may breed corruption.
“I am convinced that sheer poor public service delivery and incompetence may also result in corruption, because of the lack of controls and management,” Geingob explained.
Geingob’s remarks come a few days after Botswana’s President, Seretse Khama Ian Khama attributed his country’s success in the fight against corruption to zero tolerance, avoiding rhetoric, having an independent and autonomous anti-graft agency, and the fast-tracking of corruption cases in courts.
Botswana and Namibia were rated the first and fifth least corrupt African countries by The Nerve Africa information services last year.