Namibia’s anti-graft strategy needs tweaking

15 June 2017 | Crime

A number of flaws identified in Namibia’s anti-corruption strategy and action plan have raised questions about the effectiveness of the plan, which could further dent the already low trust Namibians have in the authorities to effectively fight graft.

A recently published expert analysis said the 2016 to 2019 Namibian anti-corruption strategy and action plan, which was launched last year, has been issued at a time “when the fight against corruption seems to have stalled”.

The briefing paper, compiled by the Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR) and the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA), warns that in recent years public sentiment has increasingly become pessimistic about the rise of, and the fight against, corruption in Namibia.

The IPPR report includes a number of recommendations that advise on how some tweaks to the current strategy could boost the potential of the strategy to improve anti-corruption measures and restore public trust.

“While the anti-corruption strategy and action plan contains many worthwhile initiatives and ideas, its implementation is far from guaranteed,” the IPPR cautioned, listing several elements in the current strategy that could weaken or render the plan worthless.

A major concern is that “the strategy does little to inspire faith that it will be effectively monitored and evaluated,” Max Weylandt, author of the briefing paper, wrote.

He said the lack of a monitoring and evaluation strategy in the plan “raises concerns that progress will not be thoroughly assessed, and implementation therefore hampered.”

The briefing paper emphasises the critical need for the people in charge of implementing the strategy to “know what is working and what is not, so they can adjust the plan for maximum efficiency.”

Moreover, the absence of baselines against which progress can be measured, could hamper a realistic overview of the success of the plan.

Contrary to UN guidelines, the plan was drafted without first analysing the current corruption levels in the country.

“A lack of analysis hampers the strategy from the beginning,” Weylandt wrote.

The analysis also indicates that “neither the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) or the steering committee tasked with implementing the strategy have much real power to ensure the strategy is carried out effectively.”

There are “serious concerns” whether the institutions tasked with carrying out a number of actions in the plan “will carry out the tasks they are supposed to. Many were not involved in the process of drafting the document, and therefore have little ‘buy-in’ from the get-go.”

The ACC assured the IPPR that the institutions involved are “are under obligation to implement the strategy” because the anti-corruption policy mechanism was approved by Cabinet.

The IPPR, however, points out that this argument has been specifically addressed by the United Nations anti-corruption experts, after many countries based their anti-corruption campaigns on the “assumption that high-level support from the head of government would suffice to ensure effective and coordinated implementation of the strategy.”

This strategy has rarely been successful in the long term, the UN found.

Moreover, the briefing paper stresses concerns around the unrealistic timelines contained in the action plan.

“The current document condemns actors to failure. Several deadlines have already passed, and it seems more will follow. This risks that the entire process will soon be untethered from the schedule, threatening to unravel further.”

Public trust declines

According to a 2014 Afrobarometer survey, 63% of Namibians felt corruption had increased “a lot” and Namibians indicated that they increasingly believe that “government cannot stem the tide in the fight against corruption”.

A 2012 Afrobarometer survey also found that 43% felt that the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) “avoids politically important suspects”.

ACC’s own survey from 2016 found that only 31% of Namibians “though that corruption had decreased since the inception of the authority”.

To-do list

While the IPPR found the anti-corruption strategy document “is a solid document” in many regards, the concerns raised could be addressed in a number of ways.

The steering committee must create a monitoring and evaluation plan as a matter of urgency, the briefing paper suggests.

Moreover, the IPPR recommends that because cabinet has signed off on the plan “it should not be too difficult to convince ministers and heads of agencies and offices to publicly agree to carrying out the plan.”

The IPPR has also appealed to civil society and the Namibian public to take ownership of the plan and to help ensure the success of the plan by acting as watchdogs and calling on government to implement the plan properly.

JANA-MARI SMITH

Similar News

 

66-year-old pensioner raped

4 days ago - 23 May 2018 | Crime

A 66-year-old pensioner was violently attacked and raped in Oshakati over the weekend, by a man who is half her age. According to the police,...

Simataa slams corruption report

4 days ago - 23 May 2018 | Crime

Information minister Stanley Simataa this week said he rejected the outcome of a recent report on corruption by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR)....

'Cops used my son'

6 days ago - 21 May 2018 | Crime

The death and funeral of 34-year-old Sackeus 'Kablou' Amateta has opened a can of worms, with his mother alleging police officers used to fetch him...

Shanghala concerned about cybercrime increase

1 week ago - 16 May 2018 | Crime

Justice minister Sacky Shanghala has expressed concern about potential threats caused to cyber security by cybercrime in Namibia.Shanghala was speaking on Monday during the commencement...

Grandpa guilty of killing grandson over chicken

2 weeks ago - 11 May 2018 | Crime

The Oshakati Magistrate's Court this week found an 81-year-old man guilty of the 2012 murder of his grandson, whom he stabbed to death with a...

Private sector must tackle graft

2 weeks ago - 11 May 2018 | Crime

A united and determined Namibian private sector could play a pivotal role in tackling systemic corruption if they are willing to expose and address corrupt...

Oshikondo shopaumwene nashi imange kumwe mokukondjitha uulingilingi

2 weeks ago - 11 May 2018 | Crime

JANA-MARI SMITHOshikondo shopaumwene shaNamibia sha hangana noshiitulamo otashi vulu okudhana onkandangala onene mokukondjitha iilonga yuulingilingi nuukombunda, nokweeta polweela elongo lyuulingilingi, okupitila poonkatu dhawo...

Govt faces N$1.6m lawsuit

2 weeks ago - 07 May 2018 | Crime

Fred GoeiemanSA citizens sue for unlawful detentionTwo South African citizens are suing the government for a combined total of N$1 678 723 for unlawful arrest,...

Grisly crash kills driver

3 weeks ago - 03 May 2018 | Crime

Drivers travelling between Otavi and Otjiwarongo yesterday morning were met with the grisly sight of a head-on collision between a sedan and a truck around...

Alleged killer rolls 'getaway' car

3 weeks ago - 02 May 2018 | Crime

An Okahandja mother says her heart is broken following the murder of her youngest child at the town. Bina Hagen yesterday told Namibian Sun that...

Latest News

Rent battle intensifies

3 days ago - 24 May 2018 | Government

Rent control boards that protected tenants from exploitation by property owners during the apartheid era are still implementable in Namibia and are not unconstitutional.This was...

RCC thought they could get...

3 days ago - 24 May 2018 | Government

A ministerial technical committee has been tasked to urgently compile a dossier for cabinet, with recommendations on disciplinary action and the way forward for the...

Skorpion’s production steady in 2017

3 days ago - 24 May 2018 | Business

Jo-Maré Duddy – Vedanta Zinc International’s wholly-owned Skorpion Zinc mine near Rosh Pinah in Namibia produced 84 000 tonnes of refined metal in its financial...

What will make or break...

3 days ago - 24 May 2018 | Columns

Here are 13 tips for starting a business and making it succeed.1. Know yourself, your true motivational level, the amount of money...

Taking NWR to another level...

3 days ago - 24 May 2018 | People

hen and protect the financial condition of the company,” said Talita Horn, chief financial officer at NWR. Talita Horn did consulting and assurance work...

Informal sector exploits workers

3 days ago - 24 May 2018 | Labour

Namibia faces key developmental challenges such as a growing informal economy, lack of decent and secure jobs and insufficient social protection for workers.However, employment created...

Africa briefs

3 days ago - 24 May 2018 | Economics

South Africa's outlook for tax revenues unchangedSouth Africa finance minister Nhlanhla Nene said on Tuesday that the outlook for tax revenues remain unchanged, in a...

The man behind the Katoshe...

3 days ago - 24 May 2018 | People

Gabby Tjiroze - His future was unpredictable and hard to imagine, but today he is the mastermind behind Katoshe D30 - a mobile phone that...

Don't compromise security - Tsowaseb

3 days ago - 24 May 2018 | People

The Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) has many priorities and security is definitely at the top of the list. Careers spoke to NSA security manager Titus...

Load More