As opposition parties prepare to take their fight against the Anti-Corruption Commission director generals’ appointment to court, the Independent Patriots for Change says it has no standing in parliamentary affairs to throw its weight behind the disgruntled parties.
Therefore, the party cannot support any event or litigation to which they have not played a role, its president Panduleni Itula said in a memo on Sunday.
Itula said this while responding to the opposition in parliament who requested his party’s participation in a drive-through demonstration and subsequent legal challenge against the alleged irregular procedure, which paved way for the reappointment of Paulus Noa and Erna van der Merwe as director general and deputy director general of the ACC.
Six opposition parties are expected to file an urgent application today, seeking an interdict against the claimed irregularities in the National Assembly last week that saw Noa and Van der Merwe being reappointed to their respective positions for another five years.
The august house also approved the nomination of Elsie Nghikembua, Joram Rukambe and Emmerentia Leonard as commissioners of the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN), amid loud resistance from members of the opposition, who later staged a walkout.
The concerned parties include, the Popular Democratic Movement (PDM), Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP), All People’s Party (APP), the Namibian Economic Freedom Fighters (NEEF), Republican Party (RP) and National Unity Democratic Organisation (Nudo).
“IPC cannot support nor be party to an event or litigation to which we have not played a role or having any locus standi [the right or capacity to bring an action or to appear in a court].
Much has been said about the failure of the incumbent director general of the ACC to investigate and/or to submit such investigation for prosecution,” Itula said.
“IPC has no objective factual documentary evidence as to why the incumbent ACC director general failed to accomplish his statutory obligations and or is incompetent in fighting and preventing organised crime and corruption activities among office bearers,” he added.
He said this should in no way be construed as condoning corruption or in any way supporting the prerogative of President Hage Geingob in the exercise of his exclusive power to nominate candidates of his choice fulfilling whatever criteria there may be.
“We observe, however, the fact, even if we are not the judiciary, that we were not in existence in 15 years of the reign of the incumbent to factually document any such failures that would support any such objections,” he said.
He said the public displeasure is, however, a factor that ought to be taken into consideration by any nominating authority charged with such responsibility, in addition to the need for accountability and transparency in the exercise of constitutional powers.
“We wish the aggrieved parties well and have no doubt when the documentary facts and chronology of failures and/ or un-procedural conduct by those with locus standi, are presented, of which IPC does not possess any knowledge, an independent judiciary ceased with such a matter of public importance shall exercise its
powers within the rule of law and our constitutional order of separation of powers to ensure injustice does not triumph,” Itula said.
Meanwhile, Landless People’s Movement (LPM) assistant spokesperson, Joyce Muzengua said on Sunday that President Geingob made a huge mistake in reappointing Noa.
“Noa’s reappointment sends out an absolutely clear message that Namibia has no intention to appoint qualified investigators with integrity that will uphold the dignity and protection of its people and resources,” Muzengua said.
She said Geingob and his Swapo cronies are fully aware of Noa’s failures, deliberate ignorance and reluctance to prosecute those accused of grand theft and corruption for more than 15 years.
“As long as the ACC has people like Noa in such key positions, thievery of state resources will continue unabated. As Namibians, we cannot simply sit and watch how our resources continue to be plundered under the watchful eye of those camouflaged as state protectors, but enable the greed of a few, who have made Namibia’s resources their personal estate or domain, to flourish,” she said.
Muzengua said her party is worried that the reason Geingob wants Noa to be reappointed is to allow the Fishrot case to go cold, be blocked or die in eternal oblivion like many other cases.
“The ACC continues to be underfunded, which continues to weaken the ability of this institution to do their work. Just a year ago, Mr Nelius Bekker, a senior commissioner of the police with extensive experience in crime investigations, who was the lead investigator and instrumental in the arrest of the Fishrot accused, was removed from the Fishrot investigation,” she said. “We need to mobilise our people to reject Noa’s appointment because his stay at the ACC has run its course. The ACC and ECN appointments need to be transparent to protect the integrity of Namibia,” she said.