President Hage Geingob told the nation on Thursday that contrary to erroneous perceptions, his administration does not lack the political will to fight corruption.
In his State of the Nation Address, Geingob said the government has made a good start implementing the National Anti-Corruption Strategy.
Furthermore, Geingob said all forms of corruption are destructive and regrettably continue to taint the country.
“We have taken action and will, going forward, continue to take decisive action to tackle this scourge,” Geingob said.
He said long before the so-called Fishrot expose, during February 2018, he had requested several cabinet ministers to respond to allegations of corruption levelled against them.
“Their responses were subsequently forwarded to the Anti-Corruption Commission for investigation, consistent
with my conviction to strengthen processes, systems and institutions.
“Today, two senior former Ministers are in jail for 7 months, with no interference from the Executive. This confirms my firm belief in the principle of the Separation of Powers and allowing the law to take its course,” he said.
Geingob said Namibia can only prevail in the war against corruption when transparency is nurtured within governance systems and that each and every Namibian has a role to play in uprooting corruption.
“I caution that we should protect the dignity of fellow citizens by guarding against accusations of corruption in the absence of evidence. In the fight against corruption, the due process of law must prevail,” he said.
Saying the truth does not change, Geingob said his administration had confronted cases of perceived and alleged corruption.
- According to Geingob, the following are just some of the cases:
The decision to cancel awarding of the Hosea Kutako International Airport upgrading tender, which was inflated from N$3 to 7 billion. This was challenged in the High Court.
- Investigations into alleged irregularities in the contracts for the National Oil Storage Facility and Neckartal Dam, which exposed Government to currency fluctuations. The investigations resulted in a Disciplinary Hearing, resulting in some implicated officials being cleared, while others received appropriate sanctions due to administrative shortcomings.
- Government, through the Ministry of Finance also launched lifestyle audits and investigations into tax evasion and money laundering. Charges brought against individuals ended up before the Courts.
- Ongoing cases of alleged corruption such as the SME Bank, Offshore Development Company and the Development Capital Portfolio of the GIPF and the KORA Music Awards are all at the Courts.