Friday 18 June 2021
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Corruption perception hurting Namibia-IPPR

Perceptions that Namibian leaders are corrupt are hurting the country’s development trajectory, the Institute for Public Policy Research(IPPR) has said.
In 2017, the Transparency International (TI)’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI) ranked Namibia as the fourth least corrupt country in Africa. This ranking was however questioned by Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) senior lecturer, Dr. Johan Coetzee during a presentation and panel discussion held by IPPR this week.
Coetzee during his presentation on the role of the private sector in tackling corruption noted that corruption is a social ill and Namibia fails when it comes to it. Over the past 10 years the country has only managed to reach an average of 4.8 out of 10 when it comes to corruption transparency.
The TI index on corruption and good governance rates countries out of 10 with 10 being a perfect score indicating no corruption and perfect governance.
“This is an indication that when it comes to international perspectives in tackling corruption, Namibia is at a mediocre level, being below 5 means we are not good nor are we bad, we are just hanging in there” he said.
Coetzee highlighted that the most damaging effect of corruption in Namibia is through perception from leaders which is difficult to measure.
In developing countries this impact is the most destructive because it affects the poor who are the people that can afford it the least.
“Corruption is systematic and spans every level of society therefore corrupt leaders cannot transform a country because those in higher positions do not inspire their country people, and what is normally shared through the media on corruption is just as tip of the iceberg as there is still more that needs to be uncovered” he said.
In his presentation Coetzee explained that corruption takes away from development in the country, causes mistrust when it comes to public spending, increases environmental damage, increases drug and people trafficking, it reduces foreign direct investments and causes political favouritism.
“This also causes violence, erosion of legitimacy, morals, common values and macro-economic instability” said Coetzee.
Coetzee further explained that unemployment in the country is increasing as a result of large scale corruption in industries such as construction and that small and medium-sized enterprises (SME’s) are the most effected.
“Money that could have been used for providing quality work for the government tends to end up in the pockets of corrupters and SME’s that contribute to 10 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) end up closing because of this social ill ” he said.
Coetzee also revealed that cartels are part of the problem as corruption passes on costs to consumers which often have the harshest impact on the poorest people in society.
“There are cartels in Namibia that harm the economy in various forms, they raise prices causing overcharging of distributors and customers and reduces profits for suppliers because of their monopolistic power to leverage suppliers. Therefore cartels are not in our best interest” he highlighted.
Coetzee pinpointed that law enforcement in Namibia is a problem and that the government does not act on cases of highly placed officials and this breeds a national value culture system that sustains corruption.
In addition, Coetzee however suggested that the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) implement a leniency policy to encourage people to come forward.
Further recommendations include a stronger response from civil society, more investigative journalism to uncover systemic corruption, and more clarity in public-private cooperative partnerships
“The business community should also encourage their members and the public at large when aware of corruption suspected activities to make use of the provision of section 52 (4) of the ACC act” he noted.
The act stipulates that no action or proceedings of a disciplinary, civil or criminal nature may be instituted or maintained by any person or authority against any informer or a person who has assisted the commission an investigation into an alleged or suspected offence under the act or any other law in respect of any information.

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