Namibia: Geingob Warns Mr and Mrs 10 Percent

PRESIDENT Hage Geingob warned that Namibia will not tolerate corrupt people involved in public procurement processes because it is a threat to the aspirations of peace, stability and development.

He said this at the inauguration of the Walvis Bay International Airport's N$100 million terminal on Friday.

Geingob also said that not all government procurement processes are corrupt, although he acknowledged that the only way for the government to win the trust of the nation was to be transparent and accountable.

His comments come after recent reports about the Namibia Airports Company (NAC) handpicking a middleman for a N$150 million contract for the upgrading of surveillance and passenger processing systems at the Hosea Kutako International Airport and Eros Airport in Windhoek.

The President further stated that every cent of public funds that goes into infrastructural development needs to be well-spent, meaning there is a need for optimal procurement processes, which would ensure that government obtains the best value for public funds.

"This means there is no room for procurement processes which lack fairness or cost-sensitivity. This means there is no room for inexperienced or incompetent contractors who miss deadlines and deliver low-quality infrastructure," he stressed. "Value for money is the word. Most importantly, best value for government money means there is no room for the 'Mr and Mrs 10%', who are soliciting or accepting bribes."

He again warned that people must not be quick to point fingers and see all public procurement processes as corrupt.

"Overcharging will not be tolerated, but equally, we cannot, just by taking any procurement, be corrupt. This is neither true nor possible. If there are corrupt people, there are those corrupting them, and we must deal with both," said Geingob, adding that corruption is a cancer that requires early intervention to prevent it from spreading and turning malignant.

He said that trust in government all over the world is diminishing, and that Namibia's government will earn the trust of its people by being accountable and transparent.

"People must know that our public procurement system is above board; that it is fair and equally competed on, and that the person who deserves it wins it. There is no fixing the conditions," he emphasised. Geingob referred to a new procurement system which will be rolled out soon that will go online and cut out the middleman.

"The only things which stand between us and our aspirations are those who seek to enrich themselves at the expense of the masses.

We have come too far as a country to allow a few corrupt individuals to undermine the economic aspirations of the entire nation. Let us walk the talk of the Harambee Prosperity Plan, and ensure effective service delivery through building the necessary infrastructure in a transparent and accountable manner.

Effective governance is a precondition to social-economic development, so it is not an exaggeration to say that the corrupt are enemies of peace and stability and development," he noted.

Source: The Namibian