The time for accountability is now

02 January 2018 | Columns

We have heard many senior government officials and their platitudes made to the issue of transparency and accountability throughout 2017. The president too, has made it clear that civil servants will be held accountable and has promised more transparency.



However, this is not trickling down into the substrata of the public service domain.



While President Hage Geingob was addressing the media at the start of December, on the very issue of accountability and transparency, black, green-plated luxury vehicles were parked in Maerua Mall, also on pensioner's parking, doing their festive shopping.



We have unverified reports of another green-plated black Mercedes-Benz holidaying in Cape Town.



Government vehicles abound at shopping centres and back-to-school outlets, and also, at drinking spots.



Corruption, and the theft of the little left in State coffers, is rife and continues unabatedly.



In the meanwhile, however, the child welfare ministry has bemoaned the lack of shelters for vulnerable and abused children in Namibia. At the very least, is it not their responsibility to ensure that these safe havens, for our most vulnerable citizens, exist?



Complaints continue to stream in regarding the chaos at the Receiver of Revenue, the heartbeat of this country, where returns are lost, documentation is misplaced, telephones remain unanswered, emails are misunderstood and later ignored, while honest taxpayers are reminded monthly of debt which they do not owe, and receipts of monies owed by the Receiver remain unpaid.



The media has complained for years about the inability to receive timeous, quality responses from government officials for balanced reporting but, are regularly threatened by the authorities about sensationalism or biased reporting.



We implore the head of state, and the entire cabinet, to make 2018 the year of accountability and transparency. We are desperate to see action when civil servants infringe on the law, we are desperate for a process to lodge complaints about lack of service from government departments. We have been waiting for years to see action.



And that action, must come from the top and trickle down to line managers and supervisors so that the system finally works and if it does not, there is some sort of recourse for those who pay the salaries of those not doing their jobs.

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