President Hage Geingob has told his ministers that the actions of a few corrupt officials have tainted the name of the country.
Geingob made these remarks during this year’s last Cabinet session in Windhoek on Friday.
“You may recall that during the town hall meetings, the issue of corruption was only raised twice,” said Geingob.
“This is why I believe that corruption is not systemic in Namibia, but perceptions have been created that Namibia is a corrupt society,” he added.
“Nevertheless, we admit that although corruption is not systemic in Namibia, the actions of a few corrupt officials have tainted the name of our country.”
According the Head of State, it is important for public service officials to emphasize that corruption in any form, including kickbacks, or percentage commission for the amount of contracts, is unacceptable.
The President’s comments come at a time when two of his ministers, Bernardt Esau who was in charge of fisheries and marine resources and Sackey Shanghala the former justice minister, were arrested on allegations of corruption, money laundering and receiving bribes worth N$150 million in exchange for fish in the Namibian sea.
The ruling Swapo party has since removed the names of the two politicians from its list of parliamentarians in the 2020-2025 National Assembly.
“We are aware of the current corruption storm in the fishing sector which has coincided with the build up to the Presidential and National Assembly Elections.
“We have seen the anger of the people, especially those who have had their livelihoods destroyed as a result of corrupt practices.”
Geingob further told the ministers including the Swapo secretary-general Sophia Shaningwa that: “Anybody would be angry and this has been a wakeup call for us to re-double our efforts to promote greater accountability and transparency across all sectors of government.”
The fact is, he noted, those involved in the infamous fishing sector corruption case are no longer ministers and their offices are now open so that proper investigations can take place.
“As a law-abiding society, we believe in processes, systems and institutions and for this reason, we will allow those implicated to be tried under due process of the law. “
Geingob further stated that it is pertinent that Namibia must work on a law which will clearly define election donations and campaign contributions to political parties in order to eliminate the grey area in “which we currently operate”.