Namibia will not be able to realise her aspirations and goals as stipulated in the Fourth National Development Plan (NDP4) and Vision 2030 unless poverty, inequality and corruption are vigorously dealt with.
Moreover, a material reduction in corruption and related crimes, such as money laundering, will have a direct positive impact on economic and financial stability and will improve the country’s credit worthiness and investment environment, Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said last week.
She was addressing regional leaders and residents of the Erongo Region during the International Anti-Corruption Day at Swakopmund on Wednesday under the theme “Breaking the Corruption Chain”, where several activities, including public awareness campaigns and sporting activities were held.
According to the PM, it has been proven that countries where poverty, and inequality in terms of income and ownership are acute, are prone to corruption: “It is therefore our government’s resolve to reduce poverty and on the other hand continue fighting corruption, before it becomes a vicious cycle of poverty.”
The PM said corruption affects all countries, undermines democracy, creates unstable governments and sets countries back economically. Corruption comes in various forms, including bribery, failure to deal with violation of laws in a fair manner, and silencing whistle blowers, the PM explained.
“Unfortunately many still view corruption as a political leadership problem. However, fighting corruption is the duty of us all. Just as the State introduces laws and control measures to reduce the likelihood of corrupt actions, so must private businesses prevent their staff and agents from participating in corruption by improving the transparency of financial reporting, strengthening of accounting and auditing standards and monitoring internal control and risk management frameworks,” the former finance minister warned.
Kuugongelwa-Amadhila also said it is pleasing to know that at least 69 percent of Namibians believe that ordinary people can make a difference in the fight against corruption. “While we have made commendable progress in combatting corruption, we still face some tough challenges,” she said.
She also made it clear that the Witness and Whistleblowers Protection Bill is about to become a law. “We are also busy strengthening our public finance, public service and public procurement legislation to strengthen, among others, the misconduct provisions, and to align the sanction for corrupt practices to those contemplated in the Anti-Corruption Act,” she explained.
She added that Namibia was also recently subjected to a review of implementation of the United Nations Convention against Corruption. The country was commended for the extensive efforts and commitment shown, including at the highest level of government, to the preparation and facilitation of the review process and its receptiveness to implement the results.
“Namibia was also praised for its effective coordination mechanisms among national law enforcement authorities and cooperation at regional and international level in support for the implementation of the Convention and the anti-corruption agenda,” she concluded.