The corruption watchdog in the country said it has closed over 160 cases of alleged corrupt practices because they the statements and supporting documents in these cases could not substantiate the allegations made. The Anti-Corruption Commission, which since its inception over a decade ago, constantly faces criticism for allegedly only tackling miniature cases involving low ranking officials, said in its budget motivation presented to the National Assembly by Speaker Peter Katjavivi recently that it closed 169 of the 372 corruption cases reported by the public. “The statements and supporting documents in these cases could not substantiate the allegations made or in some instances the cases were already being investigated by other institutions and did not fall within the mandate of the Commission,” Katjavivi said.Out of the 372 cases reported, 127 were investigated, 29 of the cases were concluded, while investigations are still ongoing in 98 cases.The speaker further revealed that 24 cases were referred to the Prosecutor-General with recommendations for prosecution after investigations and gathering of relevant evidence. “This number adds to many other cases referred to the Prosecutor-General in the previous financial years of which many are pending before court or which criminal hearings had been finalized,” he explained.The- anti-graft body was seemingly also not impressed with the budget cut during last year’s mid-term budget review, adding that the situation was so dire it had to place a moratorium on investigative work that required travelling to the regions.
The total budget allocation for the financial year 2015/16 was N$54,792,000, but during the Mid Term Budget Review the budget allocation was reduced to N$49,271,000. “The reduction in the above resources resulted in serious constraints in the execution of the programmes of the Commission. A moratorium had to be put on certain investigative work that required extensive traveling to the regions,” said the Commission. It further indicated that the same restriction had to be placed on Advocacy and Risk Assessment campaigns planned in the regions as part of the Commission’s measures to prevent or curb corruption. The Commission also experienced difficulty in honouring contractual obligations, amongst others, the annual payment to cater for essential software and hardware updates and improvements on its case management system and the payment for an independent consultant responsible for securing and processing the data related to a National Corruption Perception Survey.