NAMIBIA’S corruption fight under the administration of President Hage Geingob has gained traction but now more than ever, Government needs to unpluck public sector weevils and fundamentally bring them to book for eroding the quality of life that can be afforded citizens.
Masquerading as dedicated public servants, many dishonest individuals in key Government positions and control points have acted as conveyor belts of fraud, embezzlement and grand theft causing severe drawbacks in the states motion for radical progressive change.
While this call is backed by Finance Minister Calle Schlettwein in a statement he made to Treasury staff this week to stop corrupt practices while displaying utter disappointment at the extent to which public servants have short-changed Government, this call should be spread across all sectors if gains from the efforts of the authorities are not to be cheaply reversed.
Essentially, there is no doubt about the strong desire of the Anti-Corruption Commission and other state security arms in Namibia to fight corruption but somehow, this intent has failed to curb the rise in cases of corruption due to several factors, chief among them, the crass ignorance of the root causes of corruption in the country.
Acknowledging that correct diagnosis is very fundamental in finding cure for an illness, the inability of the previous administrations to cure Namibia of corruption can therefore be rightly attributed to the shallow and narrow nature of the nation’s anti-graft protocols.
Presently, the war against corruption is mainly anchored on the principles of investigation, arrest and prosecution of suspected offenders. This can be likened to mowing a lawn. Sooner or later, the grass will grow again. To effectively fight corruption, its roots must be uprooted. The rise in cases of corruption is linked to a number of fundamental factors. They include wrong social orientation, poor leadership culture, unemployment, poverty, tribalism, and the lack of political will.
Imperatively, corruption in Namibia can be said to be one of the greatest factors of poverty, development and economic decline. Although the country is endowed with priced natural resources, it continues to struggle and scramble for positions in the lower rungs of the United Nations Development Index.
The local occurrence of corruption in large scales reflects in many areas of development and is intrinsically linked with under development. Poor conditions of service as is the case in many other developing countries open doors to bribery. Corrupt officials often accept substandard quality of service because of kickbacks thus depriving the country of value added service from contractors and consequently resulting to the implementation of water washed goods and services as witnessed in many of our state projects, particularly roads.
Realistically a nation is like an engine-less boat in the ocean. It would need a team dedicated and experienced crew to sail it to shore thus in essence it is clear that corruption has a strong potential to steal the wealth of a nation and impoverish its people. The more corrupt a country is the lower its economic growth rate and in this instance public sector corruption should be a prime Government target.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015