Former President Hifukipunye Pohamba has challenged SWAPO Party leaders, who claim that there was rampant corruption during his administration, to report the cases to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).
The Pohamba administration has come under fire in recent weeks, from senior SWAPO Party leaders, including Education Minister, Katrina Hanse-Himarwa, National Council Chairperson, Margaret Mensah Williams and new SWAPO Party Youth League Secretary, Ephraim Nekongo, who all insinuated that President Hage Geingob had ‘closed all the taps’ on corruption.
The trio claims that forces in SWAPO opposed to Geingob were being driven by anger as they were no longer enjoying access to State tenders.
Hitting back at the accusation, Pohamba said his stance on corruption was well known, thus his push for the creation of the ACC under his administration.
“Under my administration the ACC was established, we never ignored corruption.”
He said the economic challenges of the country could not be blamed on anyone, as they were a global challenge.
“It’s a global problem. I see it in neighbouring countries such as South Africa, and Namibia has also been affected,” he said.
This comes as Finance Minister, Calle Schlettwein, has denied that the country’s economic challenges were a result of looting by a selected few.
The minister said the cash crunch was mainly due to external factors like the strengthening US dollar, which traded up to N$14 against the Namibian dollar last year, and a drop in the prices of uranium, zinc, diamonds and copper.
“The country’s coffers are empty and the current economic situation, the toughest since independence, is not a result of looting. It is not to be denied that the country is in economic decline, but that decline is not only happening in Namibia. If you look at the whole sub-Saharan Africa, almost all the economies have declined,” Schlettwein said.
“There is also a general decline in SADC, so Namibia is not an isolated case. The economic decline is not because of deliberate looting or mismanagement. There were three causes induced by external factors. Commodity prices crashed, oil prices crashed and diamond prices crashed. We are a primary based economy, moving on boom or burst. The severe drought, which lasted for three years, also badly affected the agriculture sector, which employs half of Namibia’s work force.”
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