Hanse-Himarwa case solidifies rule of law

THE guilty verdict passed by the High Court in the corruption case involving just resigned education minister, Katrina Hanse-Himarwa exemplifies the depth of our governance structures and our national outmost respect of the rule of law and separation of powers.

This governance architecture is again supported by an executive willing to stand by the values of the law as shown by President Hage Geingob in his immediate decision to relieve Hanse-Himarwa of her duties as minister simply on the basis of practicing what government preaches, zero tolerance to corruption.

It is essential that we come to the realisation that the rule of law is the foundation of any democratic society and is essential to the cohesion of our broader community.  In its elementary sense, the rule of law simply implies that no-one is above the law and that all existing laws must be respected by everyone.

Individuals, corporate entities, the State and all its organs are subject to the law and are all equal before the law.  By all means therefore, the concept provides a framework for the orderly and objective relationship between citizens and the State and among the citizens themselves.

While many other countries within the region have had a judiciary that is marred by corruption and controversy, government’s firm commitment towards the rule of law remains a conduit for meaningful investment in the country.

When it comes to corruption, we must, as a country grapple with the meaning of the rule of law practically, plainly and publicly. It is only when we animate this legal concept properly, that we begin to progress our corruption mantra towards something other than an unfinished story.

For this reason, the rule of law also means that we have a judicial system that is functioning effectively, meaning both that justice is done and is seen to be done.

We have to come to understand that corruption has become a major problem in recent times and partly explains the financial crisis that the government now finds itself in.

Today, it is a public secret that we have many dishonest individuals masquerading as dedicated public servants in key government positions and control points who have acted as conveyer belts of fraud, embezzlement and grand theft causing severe drawbacks in the states motion for radical progressive change.

As a publication, we have always maintained that corruption has never done this country any good, and in asserting this long held view we reiterate that it must be uprooted with the tenacity it deserves. In order to give meaning and effect to this recommendation, we strongly believe that the outcome of the Hanse-Himarwa case must serve as a reminder to all public office bearers that no one is above the law regardless of Swapo party credentials.

Critically therefore, it is our collective hope that government will continue to respect the rule of law and be able to hold any public office bearer accountable for corruption at any given time in view of national interest.