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Justicia Shipena

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) said it has observed a decline in corruption cases reported to the entity.

ACC chief investigation officer Phelem Masule said this during the commemoration of International Anti-Corruption Day under the theme, ‘Your right, your role: say no to corruption.’

Masule said in 2017/18, there were 325 corruption cases reported, and in 2018/19, ACC received 313 cases.

During the 2019/20 period, the cases came down to 187, and 2020/21 period, 120 cases were reported.

“If you look at the statistics, you can see there is a decline in the number of cases that have been reported to us,” said Masule.

He added that the decline did not necessarily mean there was no corruption.

“One cannot conclude that there is no corruption, but there are many factors as to why the numbers are declining,” he said.

Masule added that people now understand what corruption entails, which is a positive factor.

However, he said that the type of cases that have been reported also contributes as a factor.

“When we started, we had  a lot of cases of abuse of government resources, and it all depends on the type of offence.”

According to the director-general of the ACC, Paulus Noa, from ACC’s inception in 2006 until March 2021, the commission has submitted 694 cases to the office of the Prosecutor-General.

He said the prosecutor general has thus far decided to prosecute a total of 530 cases.

Of the 530 corruption cases, 76% of these cases have already been finalised.

“I need to mention that at times it takes long before an investigation of allegations of corruption is finalised, depending on the nature of allegations and availability of evidence,” he said.

Additionally, Noa touched on examining systems, procedures and practices, and general corruption awareness.

He said the Directorate of Public Education and Corruption Commission delivers Ethics and Integrity Training Programme aims to educate officials and the general public on ethics, its conceptualisation, and its entails.

Furthermore, he said the programme unpacks the concept of integrity and its applicability in the private lives of individuals and corporate.

Noa stated that a directorate is responsible for Corruption Risk Assessment (CRA) in various public institutions.

He added that Many public authorities have well embraced the system.

“it makes a positive impact in identifying the loopholes and weaknesses in the laws, policies and systems,” he said on Thursday.

In this vein,  the National Anti-Corruption Strategy and Action Plan 2021- 2025 was developed and is currently receiving the Cabinet’s attention.

The Strategy guarantees continuity in the fight against corruption and attaining the country’s vision for a corruption-free Namibia through synergy and collaboration in encouraging participation by all stakeholders.

Noa said the Strategy was developed in compliance with Article (5) of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC).

The UNCAC calls for States to develop and implement a comprehensive National Anti- Corruption Strategy.

The United Nations Convention against Corruption is the only international anti-corruption instrument that contributes to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda by fostering accountability, integrity, and transparency.

Speaking at the event, UNDP deputy resident representative Anne Madzara said that United Nations is assisting countries and communities to address the underlying causes of corruption estimated to cost U$2.6 trillion yearly.

Madzara expresses that everyone has a role in the fight against corruption.

“To ensure the voice and agency of everyone in tackling corruption, policies and systems need to be put in place for people to be able to speak up,” she said.

The UN adopted this Convention against Corruption in 2003 and every year on 09 December; it raises awareness and motivates commitments to combat and prevent corruption.

The convention entered into force in December 2005, and Namibia assigned and ratified the convention in 2004.

Namibia, through the commission, has also worked towards a new National Anti Corruption Strategy and Action Plan 2021-2025, which is now by UNODC.

Justicia Shipena

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