The cancer of corruption

25 July 2019 | Columns

Namibians have every right to feel aggrieved and express concern over the high levels of corruption, service delivery failures and land problems prevalent in our country.

In the last couple of weeks, the media has been at the forefront of highlighting alleged corrupt practices, especially at local authority level. Officials from the City of Windhoek and Omuthiya and Gobabis town councils were among the local authorities fingered in recent reports.

At Omuthiya, Swapo councillors serving on the town council are accused of corruptly obtaining plots for themselves, as well as their friends and acquaintances. Some councillors are also accused of dishing out jobs to unqualified relatives, while in the capital, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has confirmed it is investigating certain officials implicated in corrupt activities, such as dubious land deals. At Gobabis, irregular salary increases of top managers' remains a hot potato to this day.

While it is true that each case must be assessed on its merits, corruption of any kind and at any level should not be tolerated. Service delivery at local authority level matters. However, many of our proclaimed towns and village councils are still struggling to deliver on housing, water, electricity, sewerage, sanitation and refuse removal, among other challenges.

Corruption at town councils and municipalities has also compromised service delivery in a big way.

This has subsequently led to land protests, among others, signifying the evidence of service delivery failures at municipal level. Indeed, it is corruption that also fuels social unrest and service delivery protests. Leaders at both regional and local authority level have an important role to play, including addressing the needs of residents in a transparent and equitable manner.

Every effort must be made to halt corruption at the gate.

It must start with those in leadership positions. It is therefore our sincere hope that there will be a renewed drive by the powers that be to rid society of the cancer of corruption, self-enrichment and other irregularities.

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