Governor Andre warns of action against those who committed acts of corruption with Covid-19 funding

Sharlien Tjambari

The Governor of Erongo, Cllr. Neville Andre, called upon the Anti-Corruption Commission of Namibia (ACC) this week to probe alleged corruption and other malpractices that occurred in the Erongo Region’s Covid-19 infrastructure funding projects. The investigation must target both public officials and private sector individuals.

Governor Andre during January visited three schools in the Omaruru education circuit to see these schools are geared up for Covid-19 safety protocols when learners re-turned. He expected to see ablution facilities constructed by Government-funded Covid-19 infrastructure grants. He also expected to see personal protection equipment (PPE) and other items for Co-vid-19 safety procured under Government’s Covid-19 infrastructure grants.
Instead, the Governor realised in some in-stances the infra-structure is not in place, or only partially in place or procured. In some instances, payments were made, but those who had to deliver the goods or services allegedly did not perform.
“Clearly what we gathered on the ground was that there is serious lack of monitoring development projects. We have also found that payments were signed off but does not corroborate with the actual progress of the work we witnessed.
There are clear incidences where bribery by some of the contractors are suspected. We have learnt that in some instances officials were bribed with offers for fish, if they signed off payments without the work delivered in full”, Cllr. Andre explained during a media briefing at the Office of the Governor of Erongo in Swakopmund earlier this week.
Governor Andre called on Government officials to desist from any forms of corruption or related mal-practices. At the same time, he warned both Government officials and private sector individuals that they will be held liable if an ACC probe finds any traces of corruption or other criminal-related discrepancies.
“I would like to extent a warning to private companies, that approach government officials to indulge in corrupt practices or to desist from such practices if confronted with it. I would also like to extent a stern warning to anyone who involves themselves in any corrupt practice within our region. My Office will cooperate with all relevant institutions, such as the ACC, to bring such culprits to book”, said the Governor.
A statement reads: Corruption is perpetrated and causes economic damages when principles of good governance and systems are not being adhered to. Both in public and the private sector there is a need for commitment to the principles of good governance, whereby those entrusted with fiduciary responsibilities display a degree of loyalty, honesty, transparency, and account-ability. It is against this back-ground that my Office must ensure that incidences of corruption do not take place in the region and in doing so uphold the principles of good governance.
My Office is serious and committed to root our corrupt practices from this region. We can no longer tolerate a situation where public monies, earmarked for development, ends up into the coffers of unpatriotic Namibians.
These individuals in turn deprive the Namibian child of quality education and proper infrastructure to learn in a productive and conducive environment. This needs to stop, and the process starts here today with this submission to the Anti-Corruption Com-mission”, the Governor concluded.
In attendance at the briefing was the Chief Public Education and Corruption Officer of the Anti-Corruption Commission, Mr. To-bias Amoonga, and the Director of Education in Erongo Region, Mrs. Ernfriede Stephanus.

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