Lüderitz mayor warns about corruption as harbour town attracts energy investors

Lüderitz mayor Phil Balhao has urged residents to report corruption – especially with the influx of business opportunities to the harbour town.

Balhao said this on Tuesday at a regional anti-corruption conference at Lüderitz that discussed topics relating to corruption in the oil, gas and green hydrogen sectors.

“Corruption robs our people of advancement and keeps them impoverished, where essential social services rolled out by the government can’t be achieved due to the redirection of much-needed resources filling the pockets of a few individuals at the expense of the masses,” he said.

The event was organised by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR).

Balhao said people need to expose acts of corruption and keep institutions to a higher standard of ethics, without fear and favour.

Balhao highlighted the fact that accountability is a key component for building trust, and that the continuation of transparent leadership ensures the state’s confidence.

“The government alone, through the Anti-Corruption Commission, will not win the fight against corruption. It requires a national and a patriotic mindset. Let us fight corruption in every space and form and save Namibia from the dangers associated with corruption,” he said.
IPPR executive director Graham Hopwood mentioned the importance of transparency, referring mainly to the appointment of the green hydrogen bidder.

“Green hydrogen has had transparency issues from the outset,” said Hopwood.

“We were expecting the procurement act to be used in its proper way and level of transparency, which would normally happen if the procurement act of 2015 is used, but it wasn’t used. The government, for for some reason, found a sort of convention,” he said.

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