Has ACC finally awoken from its slumber?

28 February 2020 | Opinion

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has for years stomached bashing for its perceived 'small fish' approach to corruption.

In fact, there is nothing suggesting that corruption has decreased since the formation of the ACC by President Hifikepunye Pohamba in February 2006.

Against that background, it is easy to understand why the public is angry at the ACC. Corruption thrives at the highest level of society. Like we stated in our editorial yesterday, we wonder why, for example, almost every member of Parliament in the National Assembly has fishing quotas. Has it ever occurred to the ACC that there is perhaps a well-orchestrated syndicate by politicians to corruptly enrich themselves ahead of everyone else?

But despite our general view of the ACC, it is worth noting their performance in the past three months. They have been a marvel to watch in this Fishrot saga.

Of course, the ACC was too scared to disrupt the looting by the Fishrot suspects for many years. Even when President Hage Geingob wrote to Paulus Noa about possible corruption by people like Sacky Shanghala, the ACC boss said he saw nothing wrong.

You wonder then if the performance of the ACC in the past three months was really initiated by the commission itself, or by a powerful outsider.

The summoning of Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi this week to the ACC to make a statement on the money he allegedly received in 2018 from Fishrot enabler Fishcor was an impressive step.

The arrest of the so-called hangers-on of the original Fishrot Six was also a commendable execution of the commission's mandate, which the nation has longed to see.

Having convicted Katrina Hanse-Himarwa last year, it is easy to submit that 2019 was arguably the best year of the ACC's existence. One minister convicted, two forced out of Cabinet. This, by Namibian standards of fighting corruption, is quite a thing.

The challenge for the ACC now is to keep the momentum of fighting corruption in general. This could help salvage Noa's legacy as the country's first ever anti-corruption boss.