Earlier this year, while on a familiarisation visit in the south, director-general of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Paulus Noah was quoted in the media expressing himself against political parties, who seem to be condoning corruption within their own ranks. This is typical of Namibia. One wonders how many, especially within the many political formations, heeded his concern. It is really disturbing that somehow, while it is undeniable that indeed corruption is rife within political parties, there is little being done to curb it. Even only taking the necessary internal measures against the suspects is a mountainous task for many a political party. This is rich for the opposition, which leads criticism against perceived corruption in government. Does it mean corruption is only corruption when it involves the government, or the ruling party but when it involves political parties and their apparatchiks it does not matter? Political parties, particularly those in parliament, are receivers of taxpayers’ money via parliamentary allocations. It is not clear to what extent and how such funds are ultimately accounted for to Parliament. But certainly there must be a way in which such political parties must account for such allocations. Such accountability, more than anywhere else, surely must start within these political parties. Any political party that is in Parliament, or that is for that matter in any structure of governance, local, regional, etc., is in essence in governance and thus transparency and accountability are a sine qua non. Not only this but being in governance structures, these political parties have taken the first step towards central government governance. If they really cannot prove themselves at this level in terms of good governance, which encompasses financial discipline and accountability, than it begs conviction how they would at the higher level of governance, which is central government or running the government of the day. Few political parties in Namibia currently, have had an opportunity at governance at one or the other level. And the performance has been dismal, especially in financial discipline. Financial indiscipline and corruption cannot be two different things. If different they are only two sides of the same coin. Now if one side of such a coin is defaced to the extent that such a coin is no longer acceptable as a legal tender, than the whole coin is not tenable, period. One level where most if not all political parties have been tested in terms of governance, and particularly in financial discipline, are the local authorities. The audit reports of the auditor general, year-in and year-out, speak volumes of the financial rot within these authorities. Notwithstanding, one has been hearing little, if at all, especially from the political parties that have been involved at this level of governance, taking the desired measures against their suspect members. These tiers of government, it seems, have become the grooming grounds for governors and/or statespersons at the next level at governance. While essentially some, if not most of these third tiers of governance has been nothing more than breeding grounds for experts in siphoning and milking the taxpayers dry. Echoing Noah’s concern about the seeming indifference of political parties towards corruption, especially from within, one cannot but reflect on the recent campaign leading up to the would-have-been National Unity Democratic Organisation [NUDO] congress. Only during this campaign, seemingly, the alleged rot within the party to be laid bare with allegations and accusations of financial mismanagement or altogether outright plunder of the party’s funds. It cannot be that some, especially NUDO insiders, may be aware that the treasurer at one point was the late Ewald Kanguatjivi, and the reasons for him stepping down may be well known to them, some of them the very ones who today are throwing broadsides fellows regarding the financial rot from within. This while the years they have been around and never uttered a word. Exactly Noah’s point of the indifference if not connivance in financial mismanagement, embezzlement, misappropriation, siphoning. Call it what you may, it is one and the same thing. Certainly, few of the political parties are innocent and without blemish. Note, of all the wrangling lately within the Workers Revolutionary Party [WRP], that one would in the least have thought would be the political formation least bothered by capitalistic cravings, true to their ideology, but here we are!
2018-06-15 09:58:58 3 months ago