ACC crackdown on N$30m in corruption cases
The Anti-Corruption Commission of Namibia (ACC) is investigating several government institutions including Ministries and agencies involved in corruption cases involving close to N$30 million.
According to statistics released by the ACC, 427 corruption complaints were made in the financial year 2014/15, although this was a minor decrease from the previous financial year which reported 437 cases in complaints.
The ACC annual financial report indicates that reports of corruption concerning Government ministries was 146, Private sector 96, Parastatals 67, Local Authorities 58, NamPol 29, Regional Councils 21, Traditional Authorities 3 and City Police and office of the Prime Minister 1 cases each, in the 2014/15 financial year.
Of the report, 23 cases were referred to the office of the Prosecutor-General, these include a Ministry of Education case with a teacher who allegedly attempted to bribe a police officer to sell him a police docket for N$1000, an official at the Ministry of Sports and a supplier involving over N$1 million, ministry of education employees who allegedly intercepted and cashed cheques of other employees to the tune of N$27 000, a control taxation official at the Ministry of Finance who received a bribe to the tune of N$220 000 to erase records, a Home Affairs immigration official received N$490 to extend an immigration visa, administrators at the Hardap Regional Council accepted bribes to the tune of N$245 000 for awarding work to a company, a Nampol officer and a taxi driver solicited an amount of N$50 000 from a Zimbabwean citizen who was arrested, the Vice chancellor and manager of the University of Namibia in respect of awarding a tender at UNAM for the construction at Neudamm Campus involving N$16 million, a temporary teacher who continued to receive a salary amounting to N$255 144 for three years even after his employment was terminated, the Zambezi Regional Council involving a N$100 000 payment to a private company which did not deliver the service, a chief exectuvie officer at the Omaruru Municipality who made payment to a private company to the tune of N$962 247, a private company which received N$193 000 from the Oshikoto Regional Council for work not done, the chief clerk at the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF) paid N$51 000 to a supplier with the goods being delivered and the Deputy Director at the MAWF had a contract awarded to her own company for N$2 million.
Despite these reports mostly involving government officials, Namibia increased by ten places from 55/175 countries in 2014 at a score of 49 ranked 45/168 countries at a score of 53 in 2015 on the Transparency Index.
According to ACC, this is a corruption perception index by Transparency International and it is important to note that this a perception done in comparison with other 168 countries in which a perception survey on corruption was carried out by Transparency International globally.
ACC according to the Chief Public Relations Officer of ACC, Albert Mbanga, factors which have attributed to the increase may include performance indicators of the ACC.
‘’Strategic objective implementation by the ACC management and staff to achieve set targets in fight against corruption, implementation of the ACC legislation, public support and raising awareness regarding dangerous effects of corruption in Namibia, government commitment to transparency and accountability, respect for the rule of law and decrease in the number of corruption cases reported is also a testimony that corruption shows that Namibia and her people have zero tolerance against corruption”, Mbanga told The Villager.
He added that, economic and political stability which investors and the business community enjoy in Namibia are some of the factors which creates conducive environment for all individual and business community living in Namibia to flourish, public education (awareness programmes) activities to prevent corruption to manifest itself in both public and private bodies plays a major role.
Outcome of the cases forwarded to PGs as from 2006/7 to the 2014/15 financial year 46% of the cases are currently in court, PG declined 18% of cases to prosecute, 19 convicted and 3% cases pending PGs decision.
Complaints received or initiated by the ACC range from allegations of bribery, favoritism, nepotism in recruitment, abuse of gratification fraud, tax evasion favoritism in respect of awarding of tenders, embezzlement of public funds, and inside trading.
ACCs annual report indicates that Namibians reported corruption in writing 118 cases and 149 cases in person, in the period from April 2014 to March 2015.
ACC currently consist of Chief of Investigations and Prosecution assisted by 16 investigating officers. The ratio to the population of Namibia is roughly 1:105263, one investigator per 105263 member of the public.