Kuzeeko Tjitemisa Windhoek While most government institutions received a reduction in their budgetary allocations, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) will this financial year receive about N$70 million, which represents a three percent increase over the N$59.1 million it received the previous year. This was revealed by Deputy Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, Dr Samuel Ankama, in parliament on Tuesday. Motivating the ACC budget, Ankama said the country has entered a critical period in the fight against corruption. “The nation is inundated with reports of corruption at central, regional and local authority levels as well as in the private sector. Civil society organisations are also cited in corruption reports,” he said, adding that they are almost on a daily basis fed with media reports on corruption. “The cancer of corruption is developing and we must intensify our fights,” said Ankama. According to Ankama, the country is at a critical point from where there is a need to introspect. “We are at a point from where we must sharpen our approach to fight corruption, lest we fail,” he said. The deputy minister says from this critical point there is no option but to take corrective action. He said it is only when Namibia is corruption-free that the country will reap full dividends in terms of efficient and effective public services delivery and the enjoyment of economic fruits by all citizens. Ankama says corruption is an ancient evil and occurs in all societies. He said in the fight against corruption, there is no need to reinvent the wheel. “A tested recipe for fighting corruption can be found in ethical leadership, strong democratic institutions, an independent judiciary, a robust civil society and a free press,” he said. According to Ankama, the ACC budget allocation will be divided among three programmes, which are the investigation of corruption, corruption prevention, and coordination management and support. He said the Program of the Investigation of Corruption will be allocated N$25.3 million, the Program of Corruption Prevention will get N$13.6 million, while the Program of Coordination Management and Support will be allocated N$24.5 million. With regard to investigative work, Ankama said towards the middle of March this year the ACC managed to deal with 325 cases of which 62 were finalised and referred to the prosecutor-general with a recommendation that prosecution be instituted. He said 31 cases, after preliminary investigations were conducted, in terms of section 3 (c) read with section 18 (3) of the Anti-Corruption Act, 2003, were referred to other institutions for further handling. Also, Ankama said, 20 cases, after investigations were conducted, were closed as the allegations were either unfounded or could not be substantiated.Ankama says with regard to other cases some are pending in court or are being subjected to further investigation.
New Era Reporter
2018-04-12 08:53:51 9 months ago