Emulate GIPF, setup whistleblower deparyments-Noah

• BY ERASMUS SHALIHAXWE

ANTI-CORRUPTION Commission (ACC) Director General, Paulus Noah, has urged public and private institutions to set up Whistleblower and Ethics Helpdesks to help fight corruption and unethical practices in the country.

Noah was speaking to Confidente about his views on the initiative of
the Government Institutions Pensions Fund (GIPF) which recently launched a Whistleblower and Ethics Helpdesk to curb corruption and unethical conduct by employees and stakeholders.

He said the Helpdesk will go a long way in cementing good governance and stamping out corruption in all systems.

He said initiatives like this, will encourage whistleblowers to come forward before damage to the economy is done.

Noah commended GIPF and urged other institutions, prvate or government, to emulate the GIPF example.

“You know corruption penetrates in all systems, not only in government sectors, it is everywhere. So as a result, all institutions need to come up with this initiative

Earlier this month, two GIPF employees appeared in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court on a fraud charge involving N$17.8 million they allegedly stolefrom the institution.

The two employees Martin Eugen Smith (34) and Fabiola Shirley Aoses (44),face charges of fraud and theft after they allegedly defrauded GIPF by creating the impression that they were entitled to have a total amount of N$ 17.8 million paid out to them by the Fund.

They are currently in police custody after they were denied bail to allow for further police investigations. Their case was postponed to November 08.

At the launch of the GIPF whistleblower platform, Minister of Justice Yvonne Dausab,said the delay in implementing the Whistle Blower Protection Act, 10 of 2017, is caused by lack of funds.

She said it will cost Government N$ 160 million per annum if one takes into account the Financial and Human Capital costs involved in implementing the law.

Dausab said,“Whistleblower protection is not only a responsibility under the Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017. There are other laws such as the Anti- Corruption Act, the Financial Intelligence Act of 2012, The Witness Protection Act of 2017 and the Prevention of Organised Crime Act of 2004.

“ In terms of all these laws, there are provisions that provide safeguards

for protection of whistleblowers. We therefore urge the administrators of these laws to provide adequate protection to whistleblowers.”

At the same event, GIPF Chief Executive Officer David Nuyoma, said the institution has over 145 000 members, retirees, and annuitants and an asset value of over N$ 140 billion. “Therefore, the launch signifies the fight against corruption as a critical component in guarding and growing member benefits for their greater good.”

Nujoma added, “You will appreciate that at GIPF every month over N$ 300 million is paid to pensioners, orphans and other legitimate dependents and massive investment amounts are transacted. Therefore, there is a special need to be on guard and thwart any attempts by those who are tempted to satisfy their greed by dipping their hands in the cookie jar.”

GIPF Board of Trustees Chairperson,NillianMulemi, said the GIPF Whistleblower policy goes beyond just employees, because the policy is crafted in such a manner that even service providers and external stakeholders can all use the platform.

Last week, Confidente reported on how LaurentiusAmakali expressed disappointment that the Whistleblower Protection Act failed to protect him after he reportedthe theft of diamonds worth N$ 1 billion atDebmarine Namibia .He was subsequently fired.