Alvenus F Dreyer
The definition given to an anti-graft body is that such a body is opposed to or designed to reduce corruption.
Namibia’s Anti-Corruption Commission’s (ACC) mandate is to combat and prevent corruption through law enforcement, educating the public and enlisting their support against corruption as well as providing advisory services.
A fair share of Namibians, if not all, are aware that the ACC has not been that effective, hence various calls over the past years for it to become autonomous and or to be completely restructured.
The establishment of another corruption watchdog for Namibia will be the correct and constitutional thing to do, in answering this national call.
For citizens to lose trust in an institution meant to safeguard the sustainability of a country’s social, economic, political and cultural endeavours is dangerous.
Over the years the ineffectiveness of the ACC has been highlighted quite frequently, with examples of some high-profile cases going under the blanket.
The discovery of the Fishrot institutionalised corruption scandal most probably would also have gone undiscovered, had it not been for Jóhannes Stefánsson. Money and resources lost and wasted to corruption and the ineffective fight against it, could have been channelled to other important national development goals had the ACC been more effective.
Since the establishment of the ACC more than 16 years ago the poorest of the poor, the less privileged and destitute citizens of this republic have been waiting for some results. Whenever millions and or billions of dollars are wasted or lost due to corruption, the latter mentioned groups of society are always at the receiving end.
We can’t afford to wait for yet another 16 years to witness how taxpayers’ money and Namibia’s wealth is misused by a well-connected few individuals and groups who are always shielded by the system. A genuine transparent and accountable institution that is free from any political or whatsoever influence must come on board.
The anti-corruption commission was established by an act of parliament, but despite the highlighted ineffectiveness of the ACC over the years, the parliament has been numbed on this rather serious issue of national concern and interest.
Namibia needs another anti-graft watchdog that will without fear or favour fight corruption tooth and nail. Until such an institution together with the whistleblowers and witness protection act comes into being, Namibia risk being a country that will continuously be infested with corruption.
* Alvenus F Dreyer is a proponent for social and economic justice, born and bred in Namibia.