No, someone behind a desk didn’t write that Namibia is ‘stinking with corruption’

Geingob–corruption comment–220819

False

The statements, information and/or data referenced in this article have been assessed and found to be false.

22nd August 2019

Frederico Links

Frederico Links is the editor and lead researcher of Namibia Fact Check and a research associate at the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR)

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President Hage Geingob claims that public perceptions of the levels of corruption in Namibia are made up based on his experiences of recent town hall meetings.

An article published in The Namibian newspaper on Wednesday, 21 August 2019, quotes the president saying:

“I just finished with the nationwide town hall 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 town hall meetings for seven hours listening. People were asking questions, and that didn’t come out,” he stated.

According to The Namibian, the president made these comments at a media briefing following a meeting with visiting Rwandan president Paul Kagame on Tuesday, 20 August 2019.

What we checked:

  • The claim that “somebody sitting in an office went on to write that 75% of Namibians are saying Namibia is stinking with corruption”.

The percentage that president Geingob cites appears to be a reference to a statistic from the 7th round of the Afrobarometer survey, which was conducted in November 2017. Afrobarometer found that 78% of Namibians perceived an increase in corruption over the survey reference period (which was November 2016 to November 2017), and not 75% of Namibians as stated by the president.

In Namibia, the Afrobarometer survey and data analysis have been a jointly administered project of the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR)* and Survey Warehouse.

On its website the IPPR describes Afrobarometer as follows:

“The Afrobarometer represents perhaps the best representation of Namibian public opinion on a range of political and economic issues. It is one of the few national, representative surveys carried out in this country – and certainly the one with the widest range, asking people about a range of issues, from their opinions on national leaders, to their relationships in the community and their priorities for the nation.”

Afrobarometer surveys 1 200 Namibians who are drawn from demographics representative of the wider Namibian population.

The complete Afrobarometer 7th round report can be accessed here, and nowhere in any results summary reports of Afrobarometer findings does the phrase “stinking with corruption” appear.

The findings of the Afrobarometer 7th round survey also informed the 2019 Global Corruption Barometer, of Transparency International (TI), which was released in early July 2019, and the report on Namibia also refers to 78% of Namibians perceiving an increase in corruption over the reference period (November 2016 to November 2017).

It is against this backdrop that we rate president Geingob’s claim as False.

*Disclaimer note: Namibia Fact Check is a project of the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) and is funded by the Hanns Seidel Foundation (HSF) and the British High Commission in Namibia.

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