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Corruption stinks

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The world’s most expensive toilets were built in Namibia at a cost of N$700.00 or US$100 000 each. According to Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa (ACT-Southern Africa) these Blair toilets were built in rural areas of Omusati region and the Namibian government was fleeced N$20 million in the toilet scam.

2 comments to “Corruption stinks”

  1. Comment by Kokerai Hillario Mapwanya:

    This is unbelievable! In Zimbabwe one can buy using the same amount of money, two to three houses in low density suburbs. This is a clear case of cheating and I hope that the culprits will be arrested and brought to book. Thanks for sharing kubatana.net

  2. Comment by Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa:

    ACC closes Omusati toilet probePosted on Tue, 15 Jan, 2013·
    National News
    Available at http://sun.com.na/content/national-news/acc-closes-omusati-toilet-probe

    The chickens will seemingly come home to roost in the Omusati toilet saga, which is currently in the hands of the PG for a decision. Author: WINDHOEK – ELVIS MURARANGANDA The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has wrapped up its three-year investigation in the Omusati Region N$20 million toilet saga. The case was re-submitted to the Office the Prosecutor-General (PG) on December 12 last year. The docket has been sent back to the ACC on two separate occasions by Prosecutor-General Martha Imalwa last year for not complying with the PG’s instructions. The toilet saga is linked to a suspected abuse of the N$20 million allocated by the Namibian Government to the Omusati Regional Council for the construction of toilets under the Government’s sanitation programme. This was after Omusati Region, amongst others, was identified by the National Planning Commission (NPC) as one of the regions urgently in need of toilets. Close to 75% of households in the region did not have access to toilets.The toilets were to be constructed throughout the region, but raised questions when the construction of a single toilet cost N$750 000. Other regions that benefited from the same project are Oshana, Ohangwena, Kavango and Caprivi regions – but toilets in those regions were built at a cost of between N$10 000 and N$12 000 each.

    The case has been delayed due to an outstanding statement from a foreign national who was out of the country when the investigations kicked off. “We were waiting for statements from Zimbabwe before we could re-submit the docket to the prosecutor-general. We are now waiting on the decision of the PG on the case,” said Advocate Erna van der Merwe, deputy director of the ACC. However the office of the PG was unaware of the case and asked for more time to see if the docket was indeed re-submitted. The Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa (Act-Southern Africa) said the ACC’s failure to investigate and prosecute the culprits will encourage more corrupt acts.According to the regional body which has been set up in 2004 to campaign against corruption in Southern Africa, the Namibian anti-graft body has not produced any positive results. The key non-negotiable expected result is the arrest and prosecution of the culprits and this is yet to be achieved.“

    It should be stated herein that any further delays and the failure to punish the culprits is tantamount to the ACC´s failure in the execution of its mandate and this will encourage more corrupt acts,” said its Namibian representative and human rights lawyer, Norman Tjombe. Tjombe further added the ACC should come out and inform the public on what happened, and is currently happening with regard to the case. “The public should be told what sort of corruption was committed and the essence of the case,” he added. Furthermore,

    Tjombe recommended that individuals and companies implicated and convicted of corruption should be named, shamed and blacklisted. “The Government of the Republic of Namibia should operationalise this by identifying an institution that should be responsible for compiling and disseminating the blacklist.

    ”Some of the private companies that are implicated in the case include, West Wing Investments, Nghulunghulu Construction, Pena Trading Enterprises, Evo Building Construction, and Nakwiila Kuukongo Construction and Renovation.Tjombe also called on the ACC to probe the Omusati Regional Council on why a toilet would cost N$750 000. Meanwhile, Omusati Regional Governor Sophia Shaningwa says although the construction of the infamous pit latrines didn’t happen during her time in office, she inquired about the project when she took office last year. “The issue is now in the hands of the ACC and as governor I cannot interfere with that. I am waiting on the ACC to pronounce itself on the matter.”When asked whether the N$750 000 used for the construction of the non-flushing toilets was good practice, Shaningwa charged that she is not a fan of “cheap things”.“I do not want to build something today and tomorrow it is broken. We should have standards”

    She added that although there should be standards Government resources should not be abused in the name of maintaining standards. On whether the 60 toilets had benefited the residents of Omusati region, she said the places at which the toilets were constructed are “impractical” as people have to travel at least one kilometre to reach the toilets. “I visited these toilets and most of them are closed and administered by community committees that have been appointed by the communities.”“Apparently the committees do not want to leave the toilets open all the time as the people will use it without cleaning it.”Shaningwa added that the 60 toilets are not enough for the people and believes that it is practical for two houses to share one toilet, rather than a whole community sharing one toilet. According to the former Khomas regional governor, some of the toilets are located at cuca shops, thus disadvantaging those community members who do not frequent such establishments.