Public officials becoming sellouts – ACC’s Noa

The ACC honcho says there are public officials who are prepared to sell the country and its resources in exchange for bribes.

08 June 2021 | Local News

KENYA KAMBOWE

RUNDU

Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) head Paulus Noa says the agency has noticed a trend where public officials are becoming complicit to corrupt activities.

Noa said there are those who have taken up office promising good governance, transparency and accountability, yet they succumb to being corrupt themselves and eventually become complacent to the fight against corruption.

He made these remarks last week in Rundu during a consultative meeting where the ACC was presenting the 2021-2025 draft national Anti-Corruption Strategy and Action Plan (NACSAP).

“We have observed public officials becoming sell-outs - literally sell-outs of their own country and its resources. They allow themselves to suck up to temptations of bribery, especially those put in positions of trust to guard national resources that ought to benefit all the citizens of this country.”

Noa’s comments come while two former Cabinet ministers, Sakeus Shanghala and Bernhardt Esau, have been in police custody since November 2019, awaiting trial for their alleged involvement in a fishing bribery corruption case.

They resigned from their positions just months after former education minister Katrina Hanse-Himarwa tendered her resignation after being convicted in the High Court of corruptly using her former position as the governor of the Hardap Region to benefit family members.

Earlier this year, former defence minister Peter Vilho became the latest Cabinet minister to resign following corruption allegations.

Pending investigation

During the stakeholder meeting, participants demanded clarity on why Vilho is not being investigated by the ACC. To this, Noa responded that a police docket exists in which the former defence minister is being investigated.

Vilho resigned following revelations surfaced about an offshore bank account he did not declare to Parliament.

The account with HSBC bank in Hong Kong had a market value of N$3.4 million as of September 2020.

Corruption a disease

Noa further said corruption is a disease which undermines institutions and leads to political chaos in a country.

“Corruption is a serious disease. It is destructive. As a result, corruption must be confronted and fought head-on by all of us.

"In the end, it undermines good governance; it undermines the rule of law; it weakens institutions,” Noa said.

[email protected]

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