• February 25th, 2020

ACC refutes news report on ministers

WINDHOEK- The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Director-General Paulus Noa on Tuesday refuted New Era report titled “ACC clears three ministers.”

In our edition a week ago, we reported the ACC has cleared the three ministers whom President Hage Geingob had asked to be investigated following widespread allegations of corruption.

In a strong worded media statement, Noa said “ACC would like to put it on record that the information is so far as it says ‘ACC clears three ministers’ is a suck from the journalist’s own thumb.”
This is despite Noa being on record saying that he did not detect any incriminating answers from the ministers that warranted the watchdog to continue with further investigations against them.

Noa in a recorded telephonic interview told this reporter that “And I am saying it to you like I said yesterday-in those replies [that I received from the Presidency] I have not detected an answer which is self-incriminating for implying to warrant an investigation. 

The responses in the letters we received were similar responses that we got from the said ministers during our own investigation before the President’s request to the ACC was made.” But, Noa in a media statement through his office said he informed the journalist that ACC received from the Office of the President responses from the ministers on allegations of corruption against their ministries on which the President requested the ministers to respond to and not specific allegations of corruption against ministers that the President wants ACC to investigate.

ACC also informed the newspaper that some of the allegations to which ministers were requested to respond to were already subjects of ongoing investigations by the ACC and similar responses were provided to the commission.
He said it should be noted that ACC could not have informed the journalist that any minister is cleared when, some of the cases are pending investigations; one case pending the Prosecutor General’s decision; and ACC extends invitation to the public including the journalist to come forward and provide evidence in support of the allegations made.

Updating the status of the widespread allegations of corruption on the said ministers, Noa said allegations against the Ministry of Mines and Energy, Namdia regarding the evaluation, sale and appointment of the agent to sell such diamonds, the ACC initiated the investigation on 21 November 2016 after the print media reported the allegations.
“Through investigations, the then Minster of Mines and Energy Obeth Kandjoze was approached to explain to a host of questions ACC wanted to get clarity on,” he said, adding that Kandjoze furnished the commission with his reply in writing and provided documents in support of his reply.

He said to date, the ACC does not have counter evidence from the explanation given by the minister, and not even a journalist came forward with any helpful information.

“The allegations were reported in the media. The docket on this investigation is put on hold pending any evidence implicating any person,” he said.

On the Ministry of Works and Transport as well as the Namibia Airport Company (NAC) regarding the awarding of tender, Noa said the commission conducted a lengthy investigation where after completing the investigations, ACC submitted the docket to the Prosecutor General for a decision on the allegations.
“The docket are still with the PG pending in that regard,” he said.

Furthermore, on the allegations of payment to five foreign based lawyers (UK lawyers) contracted by the Office of the Attorney-General, Noa said when the allegations against the office of the AG was reported in the media, ACC opened a docked with a hope that in the course of its preliminary inquiry they would get people, particularly those who were vocal about the matter, to provide affidavits helpful for ACC to take a decision to investigate the allegations.
“The public officials ACC approached for possible explanations could not provide information in support on the media and public concern,” he said.

“ACC was furnished with information that the money was paid to lawyers after the Cabinet Committee on Overall Priorities and Policies (CCOPP) directed Treasury to make the payment from the Vote of the Attorney General,” he added.
Noa says the docket remains open for a decision to probe the allegations, provided any person comes with evidence implicating any person in criminal wrongdoing. 
“No person has yet come forward to provide ACC with a statement regarding this public concerns,” he concluded.

Kuzeeko Tjitemisa
2019-04-25 09:35:47 | 9 months ago

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