No Corruption in Song Contest

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By Petronella Sibeene WINDHOEK THE Women’s Action for Development (WAD) group and partners in the “Save Our Nation” anti-corruption competition yesterday clarified how adjudicators arrived at the three winners. This comes after members of the public expressed reservations about the voting procedures that were followed in the competition. The three winning choirs in the competition were the Voice of God which scooped the first prize of N$30 000, Jaakko Kangai choir that walked away with N$20 000 and Soli Deo Gloria which pocketed N$15 000. According to the competition’s steering committee, it is quite clear that the questions raised by the public come after two choirs shifted places dramatically when the 50% popularity vote was added to the vote of the adjudicators. Manager of Risk and Advisory Services of Ernst & Young, Ina Muir, explained that the Voice of God choir obtained 4 278 public votes and 9 judges’ votes making it the winner. Second was Jaakko Kangai choir that received 1 577 public votes and 5.25 judges’ votes while Soli Deo Gloria obtained 1 195 public votes and 7 judges’ votes. Okahandja choir had the highest judges’ votes of 8 compared to Soli Deo Gloria but quite low public votes of 460, hence Soli Deo Gloria emerged third. “It was quite clear that some members of the public allowed themselves to be merely led by the voting boards of the adjudicators, forgetting that the general public still held the 50% popularity vote, which had to be added to the vote of the adjudicators,” stated the Executive Director of WAD Veronica de Klerk. In total, 41 800 members of the public countrywide participated in this national project through judging the choirs and sending anti-corruption SMS messages to 444. “Judging from the thousands of SMS messages which were received, the Namibian nation is tired of corruption, clearly demonstrating with their messages that they wish to solve the problem themselves by reporting corruption,” she added. She expressed gratitude to all Namibians who participated in the campaign, adding that through the effort, the nation has been put on alert to contribute towards rooting out corruption. To ensure that people stick to the values of honesty, integrity and good corporate governance, the presentations of all choirs that participated in this campaign will intermittently be broadcast on national television in all the nine official languages.