The government of Namibia has finally agreed to make public secret reports of various commissions of inquiry into corruption at government agencies. This follows pressure from the media and some non-governmental organizations that forced the government to agree to disclose the reports. Namibian sources say since independence, several commissions of inquiry have looked into irregularities at different companies and organizations, but only a handful have been released. The majority has remained hidden, and the government always maintains that it is the prerogative of the president, as appointing authority of such commissions, to make them public.
Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah is Namibia’s minister of information. She spoke with VOA English to Africa reporter Peter Clottey denying the reports were secret.
“First, what has to be understood is that most of the inquires were public hearings whereby the public attended. So it was not really that they were secret reports because everything was done in the public. Of course the final write up has not yet been made available and currently the government is busy or most especially the line ministry on which whatever was investigated has fallen they are currently busy processing them to come to the cabinet and then the cabinet will take the final decision. But otherwise, much of what is there is the outcome of the public hearing, which were conducted when those investigations were being made,” she said.
Nandi-Ndaitwah was not pleased with questions raised concerning the timing of the government release of the graft investigation reports.
“First of all which people have been calling about them? And when one is asking why now, what then has been the most appropriate time till things are done and are processed? And you cannot just maybe because at the time you wanted it you become more suspicious. So there was no other appropriate time. Every time something was happening that is the appropriate time for things to be done. As I said, all the hearing was done in public,” she said.
She says the government has put in place effective laws to fight graft in the country.
“You must know that one thing our government has passed a law which is the anti corruption act. And that particular law has demanded for the establishment of the anti-corruption commission. So the commission is established and is now functioning. And that is a big breakthrough in our way of fighting corruption,” she noted.
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