Unsubstantiated accusations of corruption against senior public officials have become rife in Namibia, with President Hage Geingob saying such accusations negatively affect the families of officials, including their children.
President Geingob made the observation in December while briefing the nation on the progress achieved under his trademark Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP), where he said the perceived privileges enjoyed by ministers, such as the high-end vehicles they travel in, are part of their employment packages and should not be seen as an abuse of national resources.
The President said he was under no illusion that corruption does exist in the country, but was quick to point out that it has become a habit to accuse public officials of corruption willy-nilly, without any effort to substantiate and prove such claims.
“Our children are not happy that their parents are accused of corruption just because we are driven in [Mercedes] Benzes,” President Geingob, a father of five, said.
“These cars are part of the terms of reference. Everyone has terms of reference in their jobs and ministers are no exception. We cannot accuse them [ministers] of corruption without facts. Let’s bring those facts forth.”
In line with the Harambee pillar on effective governance, the Presidency reported in December that all political officebearers had declared their assets and income. All permanent secretaries have also declared their assets, in a move to ensure transparency and detect corruption and conflict of interest.
While the performance agreements of ministers were made public last year and are reviewed on a quarterly basis, some members of the public want the performance appraisals of public officials to also be made public.