FLIPSIDE — By Chris Jacobie
BEFORE Namibians can properly debate the extension term of the Director-General of the Anti-Corruption Commission, Paulus Noa, and his deputy, Advocate Erna Van Der Merwe, they should face the hypocrisy that corrupts reality.
The alarm not to politicize corruption was sounded a long time ago, but politicians of faction, ego-addicts, analysts and activists from the far-left and the far-right radical minorities, could not resist opportunism.
Namibians are sick and tired of corruption, but they are more sick and tired of politics of opportunity that erodes the credibility of leadership on all levels.
Paulus Noa himself knows that the performance of the ACC over the years have not met the public expectations and that trust and friendships were betrayed on a level that only cold-hearted criminals could do.
It is not the fault of the public who believed promises of an iron fist from three presidents. In fact, President Hifikepunye Pohamba, in his inaugural speech singled out his desire to fight corruption and maladministration.
The singling out of Paulus Noa is an insult to his deputy, Erna van Der Merwe, whose term was extended with Noa as a team. To imply anything else will be to accuse her and crack investigators like Nelius Becker and Phelem Masule of hiding the truth about their boss and the commission is unthinkable taking into consideration the character and reputation of all three.
To cast a shadow on the integrity of Erna van Der Merwe in the political crusade against Noah is disappointing and deplorable and exposes double standards where two wrongs do not make a right.
The President has the power to extend terms and he did that.
Maybe it is also time to remind Namibians that two – then – ministers, Hifikepunye Pohamba and Hage Geingob, who were practically fired by the Founding President, Dr Sam Nujoma, went on to become two-term presidents of Namibia.
Both Noa and Advocate van der Merwe knows that the public expectation will only increase in their extended terms and both of them will need each other and the public’s support. They do not belong in politics and Namibians should not allow them and the institution to be dragged into politics.
Unlike the glorious Olympic 200m race, corruption is a marathon and not a 22-second sprint.
The absurd is not debatable, neither is it correctable.
What makes matters worse is that Parliamentarians gave the impression that the opposition against Noa’s appointment is unanimous forgetting that they also insult his deputy and the investigators who must make do with sophisticated criminals and more money than some ministries.
It is time to leave politics out of corruption and support the efforts of a few good men and women to rededicate themselves to fight corruption and support the commission who surely knows that they have to outperform themselves to regain public trust.
Namibians do not trust politicians and a long road to re-establish credibility lies ahead, they should erode the institutions they can turn to when elected representatives turn a blind eye.
The Namibian public must not be seduced by political expedience but stay the course.
Noa and Van Der Merwe do not only have the public to convince but must repay the faith that the President has put in them in spite of the risk of image.
More than a team effort the fight against corruption is a national duty.
If national support can make a Namibian fly at the Olympics, Namibians can put the nation on the podium of honesty and integrity.