President denies systematic corruption in Namibia

Andrew Kathindi

President Hage Geingob insists corruption in Namibia is not a systemic problem, but rather a result of some corrupt officials.

The President remarked at the official opening of Cabinet this year.

“I believe that corruption is not systemic in Namibia, but perceptions have been created that Namibia is a corrupt society. Although corruption is not systemic in Namibia, we recognise that some corrupt officials have tainted the name of our country. It is therefore important for all citizens to emphasise that corruption in any form, e.g. kickbacks, or percentage commission for the amount of a contract, is unacceptable,” said Geingob.

The President’s comments come as the corruption trial for two former cabinet ministers, Bernard Esau and Sacky Shangala is set to begin in two months after Prosecutor General, Martha Imalwa, decided to charge the Fishrot accused ministers, along with Esau’s-son- in-law, Tamson Hatuikulipi; former Fishcor Board Chairman, James Hatuikulipi; former Fishcor Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mike Nghipunya, along with former Investec Asset Management Namibia Director, Ricardo Gustavo and Pius Mwatelulo.

“Corruption and perceptions thereof erode public trust in institutions. We should therefore intensify the fight against corruption in order to ensure that each and every cent earmarked for development reaches the intended beneficiaries.”

The President further noted that he could not engage in discussions about his alleged involvement in the Fishrot scandal as the matter is pending in court.

“With regard to the allegations pertaining to Fishcor, I will maintain the same position I have shared with the Namibian public. The case concerned has now reached a sensitive stage as the Prosecutor-General has taken a decision, and the case will soon proceed to trial. I will not seek to jeopardize or influence the administration of justice through public statements induced by the media.”

“When trial-related rules and ethics allow and at an appropriate time, I will extensively address the unfortunate insinuations, conjecture and mischievous interpretations, with a view to demonstrating their falsity.”

This comes as a leaked affidavit from Lawyer Meren de Klerk, who is alleged to have funneled state-owned money through his law firm for the Fishcrot accused and other politicians, alleged links to the President.

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