ONAYENA - Poor management and poor service delivery is cited as some of the root causes of corruption in various government offices, including those of regional and local authorities, as there is lack of controls and maladministration among accounting officers.
“It is very saddening and unacceptable to observe members of our society living in abject poverty, lacking or not having access to basic necessities as a result of poor management, poor service delivery or diversion of resources that are intended to benefit them,” noted the Deputy Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Derek Klazen.
Klazen said this during the celebration of the Africa Day of Decentralisation held at Onayena in the Oshikoto Region on Friday.
He said good governance and public accountability were the central pillars of decentralisation and are an integral component to economic growth, eradication of poverty and hunger and realisation of sustainable development.
The 10th of August has been set aside by member states of the African Union (AU) as a day dedicated to the promotion of the values and principles of centralisation, local governance and local development. This year’s event was commemorated under the theme “Fighting corruption at the local level, a sustainable way to transform Africa from within its territories”.
“While good governance, ethical behaviour and accountability are expected at all levels of government, the focus for this year is on regional and local government levels. These tiers of government as we know are the ones closest to the people and their role as transmission belts of government programmes and services is thus very crucial and central,” stressed Klazen.
The event served as a business opportunity for entrepreneurs and as well as ministries and corporates to showcase their products and services.
Addressing scores of hundreds of attendees, Klazen said an effective system of public administration requires a professional, responsive and cost-effective civil service. In addition, an effective public sector revenue and expenditure management systems and practices, including budget transparency, internal controls, financial disclosure, auditing, monitoring and oversight are some of the key requirements.
Another significant requirement indicated by Klazen is a transparent and efficient procurement system that is free from waste, fraud and corruption and that is directed at achieving development outcomes.
“Collective action is needed, since corruption enriches a few and undermines the rule of law and democracy; and weakens the social fabric, economy and the state. As such, we need a culture of people with integrity in all sectors of society and taking collective action to root out corruption in all its forms and achieve the desired transformation and development of our society for the betterment of all,” he pleaded.
Speaking at the same occasion, the governor for Oshikoto, Henock Kankoshi noted that decentralisation is moving at a snail’s pace due to lack of infrastructure development in the envisaged areas.
“We have a lack of infrastructures, thus in the absence of that, decentralisation cannot take place as there are no buildings,” he stated.