The Government Institutes Pension Fund (GIPF) is promising to come down on individuals and organizations that are conducting themselves unethically, as it launched today its Ethics Helpdesk and website for whistleblowers, to create and promote a culture of speaking out without fear of retribution or intimidation against corruption.
According to GIPF the ethics management strategy standard operations is linked to the implementation of whistleblowers mechanism that will ensure that they are protected and kept anonymous when they lift the lid on possible unethical conduct.
The GIPF believes that improper and irregular behaviour will be nipped in the bud, with the operationalisation of the whistleblowers platform where instances of compromised ethical behaviour can be reported through a toll free hotline or through the use of social media.
Minister of Justice Yvonne Dausab on the onset applauded the GIPF for implementing the intervention aimed at uncovering unethical conduct through creating a safe environment space.
She called on all public and private entities to ensure that the negative stigma such as rats, snitch and so forth, associated with whistleblowing is totally eradicated.
Dausab stressed that the Act is encouraging a culture of speaking out without being intimidated, or feeling any retribution and fear of reprisal, a move that she described as an indication that government and all stakeholders do play a vital role in the protection of whistleblowers.
It is also a bold, responsible and long overdue Act, which she stated once finalised will be the benchmark for all stakeholders.
The minister said that the current Whistleblower Act does however not make provision for witness protection among others.
GIPF CEO David Nuyoma assured the public that an independent service provider is tasked to oversee the whistleblower operational proceedings, which he underlined as vital in ensuring that there is no interference, while also assuring that no IP address will be obtained for those who come forth to report?
Whistleblowers, he said, will receive a unique number that they can use to provide more information when needed and also to monitor their report progression and to be updated on the whole situation.
Speaking at the launch was also the board chairperson of the (GIPF) Nillian Mulemi, who said that the fund had to promptly implement such a policy as a tool to improve and to deter any unethical conducts, as they set the tone at the top in fostering an ethical culture at the institution.
A South African national, who lives in exile in the United States of America, out of fear of retribution in his country after blowing the whistle on his former employer on wide scale corruption I 2018, Athol Williams also spoke at the event.
He described his experienced as one that he does not wish on anyone to go through.
Due to numerous death threats and not being able to find another job, has prompted him to flee the country in the fear of losing his life. He applauded the Namibian government for passing the Whistleblower Act and for GIPF to have launched the Ethics Helpdesk.