The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) says it still has to resort to outsourcing complex investigations involving financial matters due to continued lack of internal capacity.
The commission said concerted efforts to increase internal capacities, were being affected by the resignation of experienced investigators and reduced budgetary allocation.
“Capacitation of an institution like ACC is an ever-ongoing process. As you are recruiting, experienced officers leave for greener pasture. Therefore, I would not say ACC is capacitated enough,” ACC Chief Public Relations Officer, Josefina Nghituwamata said.
“Cases of complex nature require complex investigation that is why we are saying the budget is not enough. There are times when ACC needs to outsource an investigation to the outside forensic investigators or auditors to conduct investigation along our investigators. It costs money to outsource the investigation. Some forensic analysis needs to be done outside again it demands money to have a best analysis conducted.”
On concerns that cases of corruption will spike due to the tough economic conditions as people seek to make additional incomes, Nghituwamata said the ACC was not concerned, putting the corruption blame on greedy individual.
“ACC is not concerned that there will be a spike in cases of corruption because of economic condition. Firstly, Namibia is governed by laws and law enforcement agencies have a responsibility to enforce the laws against any person who commit an offence. Hard conditions are not excuse for committing corruption or any criminal offence. All countries are globally affected by economic distress; thus, Namibia is not the only country facing such economic hardships,” she said.
“Those who commit corruption in Namibia are not necessarily needy people but rather greedy people. It is not because they have nothing to survive on, it is because of greediness, they want more and more. They embezzle public funds out of greed and not out of need.”
She said the economic hardships currently experienced in the country were not an excuse for people to engage in corrupt activities.
“The mandate of ACC is provided under the law passed by Parliament and remains the same irrespective of the performance of the economy. Our mandate is to investigate allegations of corruption. No economic conditions are attached to the mammoth task ACC is mandated to execute. Namibian people are principled people. We cannot afford to corruptly destroy our country because of economic headwinds. ACC depends on the concerted efforts of all citizens in our quest to curb corruption in our country. Even during the hard conditions of the economy, we must all speak out against corruption. Fighting corruption is the only assurance for good governance and economic growth,” the ACC spokesperson said.
She challenged the political leadership in the country to take a stand against any cases of corruption, thus deterring members of the public that might want to engage in any corrupt activities.
“This time of economic hardships, ACC more than before, expects political leadership to unreservedly pronounce itself against maladministration, mismanagement of public resources and corruption. ACC continues to sensitize administrators to adhere to elements of transparency and accountability. No economic conditions are attached to the mammoth task ACC is mandated to execute. We cannot afford to corruptly destroy our country because of economic headwinds. Even during the hard conditions of the economy, we must all speak out against corruption. Fighting corruption is the only assurance for good governance and economic growth,” Nghituwamata said.
She said despite an insufficient budgetary allocation, where the commission was allocated N$61.6 million for the 2019/2020 financial year, which translates to 1.4 percent more than the previous year, it will continue to carry out its role in line with its mandate.
“Even with limited resource, ACC will continue disseminating anti-corruption awareness information, while at the same time investigate and take appropriate action against those proven to be involved in corrupt practices. We shall continue engaging all institutions in the public as well as in the private sector to actively shun corruption and take disciplinary actions against their employees who get involved in fraud, corruption and related unethical conducts,” Nghituwamata said.