I am not corrupt - Aupindi

Tobie Aupindi says he had his day in court, paid a fine and life should go on.

31 March 2020 | Government

Edward Mumbuu Jnr

WINDHOEK



Tobie Aupindi, who was found guilty of a charge under the Anti-Corruption Act two years ago, says he is not corrupt and nothing should stop him from being part of the legislature.

Aupindi, who was among the 104 lawmakers sworn in as members of the National Assembly last week, said he had his day in court, paid a fine and life should go on.

“I'm not [corrupt]. I fought corruption for many, many years in different capacities as a corporate leader and I support every effort that's out there,” he said.

He said his conviction was for “obstruction of justice under the minor charges”.

“It's a similar charge to you telling an officer that you were not speeding. Right now, what I do, I am a law-abiding person just trying to share my knowledge and skills in my effort in ensuring that our country continues to achieve total economic emancipation,” he added.

Aupindi was sentenced to a fine of N$50 000 or 30 months in prison in 2018. He paid the fine. He went on to say that if the Namibian Constitution, which is the country's supreme law, does not prevent him from being a lawmaker, then no amount of public outcry, media reports and criticism can do so.

He said this in response to allegations by opposition politicians that Swapo recycles and rewards the corrupt.

“We [Swapo] are the ones who even brought about the Anti-Corruption Act.

“No one can therefore take the credit from Swapo. In fact, the voices they are speaking with is based on the fundamental freedom and bill of rights that Swapo brought about,” Aupindi added.

Landless People's Movement (LPM) leader and MP Bernadus Swartbooi took a swipe at Aupindi's inclusion in the new parliament.

“The legislature is a hoax. It's a pathetic place. Swapo does not take this country and its people seriously. I don't know when some Namibians will recognise this very fact,” he said. Swartbooi wants MPs convicted of serious crimes such as corruption, theft or murder never to set foot in the National Assembly “as the nexus between politics and criminals is getting worse”. -Nampa

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