WINDHOEK - The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) received N$61.6 million for the 2019/2020 financial year, which translates to 1.4 percent more than the previous year and totalling about N$184.8 million over the medium-term expenditure framework - an estimate of the budget over the next three years to support activities to fight against corruption.
The ACC was allocated N$60 million in the 2018/19 budget, an increase from the N$59 million in 2017/18.
This is according to the 2019/20 budget presented by Finance Minister Calle Schlettwein two weeks ago.
The ACC believes that a strong implementation and coordination mechanism is essential to reach the 2019 target of full implementation of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy.
Schlettwein said corruption is prevalent in both the developed and developing worlds, adding it is the evil that touches almost every aspect in an economy.
He explained corruption is one of the most immoral causes for inequality as it disproportionally benefits the few and harms many.
Equally, he maintained that corruption creates elites or cliques, saying when self-interest reigns supreme with no ethics, a society without humanitarian values and compassion are formed, the principles of social justice, equality and peace are lost.
Namibia has been considered for several years by several reputable rating agents as being a relatively stable environment for investors.
Although Namibia has been consistently in the top five least corrupt countries on the African continent, Schlettwein questioned whether that is good enough.
“The answer is, it is not, because in as much as this is an achievement, it falls short of us being free of corruption. On face value, the cost of corruption is immense,” he remarked.
He cited the customs case in court, where collusion between clearing agents, importers and customs officials has been suspected.
In this case, the state was allegedly defrauded in a scam involving the trade volume of N$3.1 billion.
According to police and forensic accounting evidence, the ministry suffered losses of the substantial amount in question as a result of the under-declaration of the value of goods imported into Namibia and on which customs duties were supposed to be paid.
The suspects allegedly presented the same invoices repeatedly at the bank and at customs for clearance with a huge difference in the amount presented at the bank for deposit.
Furthermore, the finance minister singled out large infrastructure projects such as the Hosea Kutako Airport project, which was stopped because cost escalated by more than double for no viable reason. “Tenderpreneuring and accompanying overpricing is possible only when private operators connive with officials and put personal gain above the common good,” he reacted.
Moreover, he revealed the Witness Protection Act and the Whistle Blowers Act have been passed and the supporting institutional structures are being created.
These will strengthen governance and anti-corruption measures through improved transparency and accountability.
2019-04-09 09:06:41 | 6 months ago