Swapping corrupt officials is not addressing corruption: Kavekotora

14 Feb 2018 08:20am
WINDHOEK, 13 FEB (NAMPA) – In the aftermath of the Cabinet reshuffle – Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) secretary general Mike Kavekotora said moving “corrupt” officials from one ministry to another is not a remedy to corruption.
Kavekotora said this during an interview with Nampa on his reaction to President Hage Geingob’s recent Cabinet reshuffle.
According to the RDP lawmaker, the solution to “corrupt officials” is not swapping them.
“You first investigate, charge them, recover whatever they took fraudulently and eventually fire them. The recently announced reshuffle by President Hage Geingob is shocking and lacks logical explanations,” Kavekotora said.
He further argued that Thursday’s Cabinet reshuffle was Geingob’s golden opportunity to root out corrupt officials.
He said Geingob should have used the Cabinet reshuffle to send a strong message to politicians with corrupt ambitions, while also addressing the abuse of State funds.
“Geingob failed to define the problem. He failed to identify where the problem is. He failed to identify who are involved in these corrupt activities. And he also failed to deal with the corrupt ministers appropriately as a warning to others who might want to venture in similar fraudulent transactions.”
Kavekotora premised his argument on the basis that each ministry is a recipient of State funds and swapping ministers whom he categorised as corrupt will not solve any problem.
“If these ministers are really corrupt, what would prevent them from doing exactly the same in their new assignments?” he pondered.
He further noted that the reshuffle was merely an exercise to hide corruption rather than curbing it.
“You don't move a thief from a goat post to a cattle post. You fire him!” he stated.
Kavekotora did not explicitly pin-point Cabinet members who he believes are corrupt.
The remarks come at a time when three Cabinet members or ministries they once ran are mired by allegations of rampant corruption.
“I have particularly been disturbed by various allegations of corruption, maladministration and/or incompetency, mostly directed at the ministry of works; office of the attorney general and ministry of mines,” the President stated here last week.
Despite these claims however, Geingob maintained that Government had the political will to combat corruption.
Prior to announcing his new Cabinet, the Head of State acknowledged that allegations and perceptions of corruption among Government officials continue to taint the government.
He also lamented the difficulty posed by the party parliamentary list in his speech – saying like a football coach, his choice of Cabinet members was only limited to the pool of individuals availed to him through that list, a sentiment echoed by several analysts.