|RA investigators come under fire|
|Written by Staff Reporter|
|Thursday, 02 August 2012 00:12|
Roads Authority investigators, tasked with probing allegations of fraud and corrupt practices in the issuing of driving licenses in 2010, now stand accused of abusing their power.The accusations emanated from the now-aborted case that was launched against an official (name withheld) at Ongwediva’s Namibia Traffic Information System (NATIS) office. Allegations of the official issuing driving licenses through fraudulent means in December 2010, which led to his suspension, involved at least six people suspected of having received licenses through dubious means. The official in question was charged with ‘fraud and corrupt acts’ for unlawfully issuing driving licenses and was suspended on 27 January 2011.
In October 2011, the suspended official was found not guilty of the said charges, but was dismissed on charges of “recklessness and negligence”. The verdict was later overturned after appeal and the official was re-instated.
Four Windhoek-based RA investigating officers, are now accused of withholding the driver’s license of one witness.
The witness, who claimed to have taken his complaints to the Minister of Works and Transport, the Anti-corruption Commission (ACC) and Office of the Ombudsman, said he could not understand why he should be punished for no apparent reason after the case was dismissed.
According to the Namibian Road Traffic Regulations, only a competent court of law or other competent authority, can retain and withhold someone’s driving license.
Approached for comment, Katrina Nakashona who is heading the RA investigation, confirmed that the driving license of one of the witnesses was withheld. “I told him [the witness] to wait for a while. I am busy with the report.”
Allegations of bribery are rife as the witnesses are claiming that they were forced by an investigating officer to make self-incriminating confessions. Sources within the RA said some witnesses reportedly gave false testimony that they bought their driver’s licenses.
They were allegedly promised an amount of N$8000, a source claimed. They were also transported to and from home, as far as Omuthiya Constituency, and fed at the expense of some investigators.