Local authorities plagued with corruption

SWAKOPMUND

09 March 2018 | Local News

The Anti-corruption Commission (ACC) held a local authorities discussion on corruption at the municipality's chambers last Wednesday.

Under the theme 'Enhancing transparency and accountability in local authorities in the Erongo region', the discussion was held with the aim of gaining insight into the perspective on various aspects relating to corruption like accountability, integrity, transparency and good corporate governance.

During her presentation, the senior investigating officer of the ACC's Erongo regional ­office, Frieda Kanyama, said that in the last two to three years, 25% of corruption cases reported to the ACC (21 out of 83 cases) involve local authorities.

According to her, local authorities need to do more in order to teach staff members what constitutes as conflict of interest.

“We need to continuously engage our staff members so that they can comply with the corporate governance code of Namibia. This is a code which has a lot of recommendations and ­components which we can apply within our organisations which can help to achieve good governance.”

From the 21 local authority cases­ reported to the ACC, Walvis Bay town council had the most cases (6), although none of them are yet resolved. Henties Bay had five cases reported to the ACC. Two of these cases have been taken to court while three are still being investigated by the ACC.

The mayor of Henties Bay, Herman /Honeb, advised the ACC to find out what the root cause of corruption is so that it can help to deal with the evil.

The statistics also indicate that Omaruru has four cases reported (one has gone to court and three are under investigation), Usakos and Swakopmund both have two cases reported which are both still under investigation, while Karibib's two reported cases have seen one of them handed over to court while the other one is under ACC investigations.

The Arandis town council has no cases of corruption reported to the ACC in the last three years.

The mayor of Karibib, Petrus Nabot, suggested that corruption cases should be solved sooner.

“Sometimes the investigations are prolonged. Most of the time the information is there and the people who can testify are there, but cases that are only supposed to last four to six months drag on. This demoralises the community,” he said.

Most of the areas which led to corruption in the Erongo region's local authorities were procurement (tenders), land sales and recruitment.

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