THE suspension of city police chief, Abraham Kanime signals green shoots for the country’s largest local authority at a time when Namibia vehemently needs to dispel the ‘sacred cow syndrome’.
Taking cue from President Hage Geingob, who has relentlessly shown unflinching protection of the public purse by holding even Ministers accountable, City of Windhoek’s CEO, Robert Kahimise is justified to be tackling irregularity without impunity or fear.
President Geingob’s stance on corruption, insubordination and misconduct suggests that no person or institution, public or private, should allow themselves to succumb to any unorthodox dealings in their day to day operations, as the ultimate result is a defeat of the law of the country as well as the good name of public service.
In this pen’s view, therefore, the law as a scalpel in the hands of a doctor – guardians of the law who must be clean themselves in the first place – should cut deeper into the flesh of this country to cut and gouge out all cancerous cells and their ramifications in order to completely route out the cancer.
If in the end, the body shrinks but is rendered healthier without the cancer, so be it. There should be no regrets, we should celebrate the result.
It goes without saying that for the City and Namibia at large to succeed in the provision of equitable and efficient services to rates and tax payers, no public officials must be exempted from prosecution if found wanting.
Over the years, the non-prosecution of highly placed public officials has become so deeply entrenched to the extent that it is permeating through all facets public offices from State Owned Enterprises to government ministries.
In other instances, Superiors have been quick to defend their subordinates by squashing all claims of wrong doing in acts that point to protection of those that hold keys to public coffers.
It should however be noted that where the corrupt is already at work, grazing at the fabric of law, any support of corrupt tendencies by anyone in whatever position is tantamount to the spreading of the scum.
Essentially, the outcome of Kanime’s announced investigation provides a litmus test for the sincerity in prosecuting highly ranked public officials, a reality that even the Anti-Corruption Commission should borrow a leaf from.
If this becomes modus operandi, it will also give back ACC the public confidence it lost because so far, the anti-graft watchdog has been disappointing because of its failure to show enough teeth, either legally or psychologically, to bite the corrupt, especially the mighty.
This has also lent credence to the view that there are sacred cows in the fight against graft notwithstanding that fact that prosecution of the corrupt particularly high profile officials would also act as a deterrent to public servants keen on dipping their fingers into the cookie jar. Now more than ever, responsible authorities must ride on this wave and do the right thing and institute comprehensive programmes that spare no-one in the fight against endemic corruption.
This is the only way that various public institutions will be able to command the respect of the population. A partisan approach in the fight against corruption will not cut it. It cannot engender the confidence that is being cultivated by President Geingob’s administration and hence the message that corruption from whatever quarter will not be tolerated must ring loud and clear.
In the end and realistically so, any marked success in the blitzkrieg against the corruption scourge in the public sector will be achieved only if everyone can be held to account for resources that he or she has been entrusted to provide stewardship.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015