Namibia: Geingob Questions Corruption Statistics

PRESIDENT Hage Geingob says he was surprised to find out that Namibians were not talking about corruption, despite the subject enjoying widespread reporting in the local media.

Geingob made these statements yesterday during a media briefing at State House after his meeting with Rwandan president Paul Kagame.

Kagame is in Namibia on a three-day state visit.

Geingob stated that local media reports that over 75% of Namibians believe that Namibia was "stinking with corruption", were not true.

He said when he visited the regions during his townhall meetings earlier this month, he was surprised that only a few people on the ground were talking about, or asking him questions related to corruption.

The president said, only two people in all 14 regions asked questions about corruption.

"I just finished with the nationwide townhall meetings, but corruption came up only twice in all 14 regions. But somebody sitting in an office went on to write that 75% of Namibians are saying Namibia is stinking with corruption".

"What is the person talking about? I went all over, 14 regions, sitting in the townhall meetings for seven hours listening. People were asking questions, and that didn't come out," he stated.

Geingob added that the government has also been transparent when dealing with issues relating to the awarding of state contracts.

He made reference to how the government decided to extend the N$1 billion tender for the construction of the dual carriageway between Windhoek and Okahandja.

The Windhoek-Okahandja road tender was awarded to a company called Otesa, owned by businessman Elmo Kaiyamo.

Kaiyamo's company is in a joint venture with an Italian civil construction heavyweight company called CMC.

The president claimed that the government decided to extend the contract in order to save about N$200 million of taxpayers' money.

"We did it transparently and openly. We said that if we are going to have a new company to come, first advertisements will take time, then they [the company] have to come and establish themselves, equipment, and so on.

"That will be N$80 million, just to bring the equipment. They also have to pay people who are there to move their things from the area they are setting up, N$70 million. We are saving about N$200 million, now you would rather want to waste the time just to get the new people to come to prove a point," he reasoned.

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