Business & Finance

FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION BEING SLOWED DOWN BY JUDICIARY SYSTEM, SAYS NAMIBIA’S ACC DIRECTOR

WINDHOEK, Namibia- Out of the 6,605 corruption reports registered with the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) since its inception in 2006, only 347 have been finalised in the courts, the Namibia Press Agency (NAMPA) reported.

A total of 605 cases have been submitted to the prosecutor-general (PG) for a decision.

Of this figure, 212 cases are still pending trial, while 24 are pending the PG's decision, leaving much to be desired in the anti-graft fight, said ACC Director General, Paulus Noa.

Noa made these observations at the commemoration of International Anti-Corruption Day in the capital on Friday.

He said the slow process of bringing those involved in corruption to book by the justice system, has led to the public losing trust in the authorities tasked with fighting corruption.

"I am concerned that due to lack of case management of criminal court rolls, particularly in the lower courts, it has become easier for prosecutors or presiding officers to raise personal reasons to justify postponement of cases," he said.

More so, the longer the case drags on, the more taxpayers' money is spent as all those who are subpoenaed to attend court are entitled to witness fees, which depends on the means of transport and distance they have travelled.

It is now up to the judiciary to take responsibility and account to the public, he added.

"It is no longer questionable that our justice system leaves much to be desired and calls for effective overhaul," Noa stated.

He went on to say the ACC bears the brunt of public scrutiny. "Every delay and outcome is attributed to the ACC," Noa charged.

Speaking at the same occasion, Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) executive director, Graham Hopwood made five recommendations that will help the country to effectively uproot corruption.

"Namibia should join the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative or introduce the kind of reforms required by the EITI on its own including a register of beneficial ownership, disclosure of contracts relating to resource extraction and detailed information about revenue collection from the extractives sector," he said.

His other suggestions included action to ensure that the transparency requirements of the Public Procurement Act are complied with.

In addition, Namibia should pass a law which sets out a comprehensive statutory system for elected politicians to declare their assets, Hopwood said.

Another proposal is the passing of a world-class access to information law as soon as possible.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK