AS a publication, we have always argued that corruption in Namibia has become so deeply entrenched to the extent that it is permeating through all facets of our lives; from politics, to business and from highly placed public servants to even the ordinary civil servant. Corruption is a cancer that has wreaked havoc in the entire socio-economic fabric of the Namibian economic society. As a direct result of corruption in both the public and private sector, billions of dollars’ worth of taxpayers’ and other public funds have been siphoned out of the Government purse and ended up in personal coffers of those that exploit the Government system.
Corruption has become endemic in the public sector and day in and day out, we read about reports of civil servants being implicated in cases of massive corruption. The rot at the Ministry of Works and Transport is a case in point. What boggles the mind is the fact that in spite of these reports of naked corruption little has been done to protect taxpayer’s money from those continuously stealing; with Anti-Corruption Commission seemingly a toothless bulldog to this end.
In this edition it is noted that several accountants in the Ministry of Works and Transport have reportedly been cashing in at least N$50 000 in monthly overtime fees, a move that has prompted the Auditor General’s office to launch an investigation into the rampant abuse of state resources.
Sources privy to the matter told Confidente that the rife abuse of scarce Government funds has reportedly been going on since 2013 with some accountants clocking in between N$200 000 and N$500 000 annually.
Sources told Confidente that the accountants make about N$220 per hour in overtime nearly every day, on weekends, and on public holidays working from 8 a.m. to midnight, adding that some mostly spent their time reading newspapers and magazines, surfing the internet or otherwise relaxing at their desks.
It should always be noted that accountability for taxpayers’ money is an inextricable part of good public management and democratic Government. It can provide assurance over Government’s activities, highlight improvement actions, improve policy-making, and engage stakeholders and service users in decision-making.
Good governance, whether in the public or private sector, is always a challenge. While we want and expect people to act with honesty and integrity, in too many cases, self-interest, greed, and a lack of respect for the rights of others overcomes the basic obligation to act ethically. Essentially accountability is one of the fundamental tenets of effective governance in both the private and public sector.
Under this pretext it becomes evident that it is time for Government to clampdown on the serious corruption that has surrounded the issues relating to overtime and travel and sustenance. All the culprits, no matter who they are, should be promptly brought to book and the stolen funds should also be repatriated to state coffer via prosecution. It is only when this is done that the nation will sincerely believe that the anti-corruption blitz and investigations that are continuously announced are genuine and not just another façade meant to hoodwink the suffering and toiling masses of Namibia.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015