Keeping the President accountable

Make your voice heard

30 September 2019 | Crime

Yolanda Nel

With the elections around the corner, one Namibian is encouraging his fellow countrymen and women to sign a petition in an effort to intensify the fight against corruption.
Brian Black, a well-known personality in local tourism circles, entrepreneur and chairperson of the Namibian Manufacturers Association, began an online petition to President Hage Geingob, asking that he ensure accountability before this year’s national elections following the blatant looting of N$660 million from the Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF).
According to Brian, he’s been a victim to corruption and maladministration on numerous occasions. He cites one example: “In 2011, a fuel management tender price of N$6 million from a company was changed to N$96 million to keep us out of the race,” he said.
Even after reporting the issue to the Anti-Corruption Committee (ACC), no action was taken.
Although he considered leaving Namibia for the sake of his children, he was persuaded to stay and to face crime and maladministration head on. “This resulted in my first public action against this evil when I took the Ministry of Works to the High Court. Despite winning the case, we ended up only winning a battle, but losing the war,” he said.
Brian quickly realised that it will require an extraordinary effort and much sacrifice to halt these wrongdoings, and to “return our beloved Motherland to the country we all used to dream about and suffered for prior to independence”.
“The last straw in my desire to make a difference, was the shameless poor excuse given by the Prosecutor General about the GIPF case that dragged on for 20 years, with no one being held accountable for the N$660 million that was lost,” he continued.
Brian admits that although he started the petition in the hope of receiving 7 500 signatures, he was very happy when it reached 2 500 signatures. Just three weeks later, more than 10 000 signatures have been received and now his new target is 15 000 signatures.
The reason he wants to see the President is because he is convinced that corruption and maladministration can only be halted by the president.
After seeing so many Namibians standing together, Brian realised that the nation at large is tired of corruption and maladministration. “All they have been waiting for is a platform to be heard. I am forever thankful that God gave me both the courage and determination to provide this platform in the interest of a better future for all our children.”
Brian believes Namibians are ready for change and want to see those in power being held accountable. “I have always believed that despite Namibia’s many successes, our true strength as a nation is not vested in the infrastructures or beauty of country, but in its people. To me there is no doubt that with pressure from the voters as mandate givers, we owe it to our Motherland and our children to hold our leaders, including our President, accountable.”
Media reports quoting Dr Hage Geingob as saying that he will not travel abroad until answers are given regarding the N$600 million, is music to Brian’s ears. “To me the latest developments offer a unique opportunity for our President to reaffirm his popularity amongst the nation by starting to hold those who are sabotaging his vision for Namibia, accountable.
“Why can civil servants not be fired for corruption, maladministration and failure to act at all times in the best interest of the Namibia and the general public?”
According to him, it is time to start seeing disciplinary actions being taken against those who release state money without following proper procedures.
Brian wants to hand over the petition early in October, but is still waiting on State House to confirm a possible date. The petition can be signed at http://chng.it/ZMnSjLWH.

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