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By: Valeria Handobe 

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), Director-General Paulus Noa, has disputed a recent Afrobarometer survey that reported 65% of Namibians believe corruption has worsened. According to Noa, corruption has actually decreased in the country.  

Noa disagreed with the survey findings, stating that corruption in the country is not increasing. He believes this drop is due to the public’s better understanding of what constitutes corruption and what should be reported to the ACC. 

He explained that the survey is based on public opinion, rather than solid evidence, adding that people who are faced with social challenges tend to link everything to corruption. 

“Ordinary citizens on the street have got various challenges which they connect or attribute to the perception of corruption. And I do not fault them for thinking that, because for them they have no understanding really of what corruption is and what is not corruption. An ordinary citizen, any challenge that he or she is facing,  like today we have many citizens who are unemployed, we have a high number of poverty in the country, and their perception is that all these are attributed to corruption,  which unfortunately is not really the case,” said Noa. 

In addition, Noa said the government and the ACC are working hard to fight corruption and promote good governance. 

“ The Anti-Corruption Commission, and the stakeholders, that is our partners, we are committed to the fight against corruption. Corruption these days is a broader phenomenon.It’s not the way it is perceived by ordinary citizens on the street. It’s a broader phenomenon, which include money laundering, illicit financial flow, tax evasion or tax avoidance, and many others. And as a result, the institutions are really on their guard to see to it that all these forms of corrupt offences  are fought in the country, and they do not  become an order of the day,” stated Noa. 

Presenting the findings this week , the National Investigator for Afrobarometer in Namibia Christie Keulder, said citizens who have experienced extreme poverty tend to think corruption is more widespread. 

Keulder revealed that 76% of respondents think the government is doing a poor job fighting corruption, the highest disapproval rate in 20 years. 

“ If we look at the performance of that aspect of policy, the government’s performance on fighting corruption, broken down by key socio-biographic groups, then we can see that trend. For example those who did not vote, 78% said it was doing badly or fairly badly. 75% of voters said it’s done fairly badly or very badly. The same trend for lift poverty, 79% of those with high lift poverty, 82% moderately lift poverty, 64% of those with no lift poverty,” says Keulder. 

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