Financing of the ACC is vital for Namibia

Niël Terblanché

The impact of corruption is severe and if it is allowed to persist the phenomenon has a detrimental impact on economic growth, healthcare, and social and economic infrastructure development, and may even negatively affect Foreign Direct Investment.

While presenting arguments for the budgetary allocation of N$81 688 000 for the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), the Speaker of Parliament, Professor Peter Katjavivi said that foreign Investors may not invest in Namibia if authorities in the country are not financially empowered to curb corruption and related crimes.

In addition, Namibia has been undergoing the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group and United Nations Financial Action Task Force evaluation.

“The evaluators strongly recommend that the Namibian Government must increase its funding to the ACC and also strengthen capacities and skills of national law enforcement agencies to effectively combat corruption and money laundering,” Katjavivi stated during his address.

He said that the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group report of September 2022 further recommended that adequate operational capacity which includes financial, human and technical resources, must be provided to Law Enforcement Agencies.

According to the Speaker the report recommended resources must be made available to specialised staff the Namibian Police and the ACC to investigate money laundering and to the Office of the Prosecutor-General to prosecute money laundering cases.

“These resources should include attracting and retaining skilled staff and expertise especially financial investigators and also be able to facilitate specialised continuous training on high-end and complex financial investigations and prosecution including parallel financial investigations and effective application of special investigative techniques,” he said.

The budget allocation for the ACC will be divided between the Office of the Director-General, administration and investigations.

In this regard, an amount of N$4 207 000 will be directed at the Office of the Director General and of that amount N$3 889 000 will cover remuneration, cooperation through consultation, exchange of anti-corruption intelligence and relevant information with foreign counterparts, entering into MoUs with counterpart bodies and related other expenditure. The remaining N$318 000 must cover goods and other services.

With regard to administration, an amount of N$29 790 000 will be divided up for support and coordinating functions.

An amount of N$16 025 000 will be used for remuneration and related expenditure, while N$3 900 000 will be used for utility services such as municipal and telecommunication charges.

The rental of four Anti-Corruption Commission offices in Windhoek, Swakopmund, Otjiwarongo and Oshakati will also be covered by this division.

According to Katjavivi the rental of three regional offices will cost N$1 400 000 while the remaining N$1 million is earmarked for the ACC’s development budget.

The Speaker indicated that an amount of N$29 774 000 will be allocated to the investigation division.

“Of that amount N$25 874 000 will be used for remuneration and related expenditure,” he said.

Katjavivi stated that the remaining N$3 400 000 is earmarked for contractual obligations in respect of the upgrade and maintenance of investigative software licensing and the GoCaseManagement System.

He added that the amount also caters for annual fees and consultancy service investigations where specialized expertise and skills are required.

According to Katjavivi, the investigation into the Fishrot saga is only one of nine high-profile cases that are currently under investigation by the corruption watchdog.

“It is crucial that the high-profile cases are prioritised as they have the potential to undermine the country’s commercial and financial interest, cause huge potential financial loss to the country, and the public has an interest in the speedy resolution of these cases,” the speaker said.

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