19 Jul 2016 15:00pm
WINDHOEK, 19 JUL (NAMPA) - The Office of the Ombudsman handled over 26 000 cases of jurisdictional complaints against every tier of government from members of the public, civil organisations and institutions between January 1997 and December 2015.
This figure is contained in the 2015 annual report prepared by the Office of the Ombudsman that was officially tabled in the National Assembly on Monday by Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Loide Kasingo.
The report shows that 26 334 jurisdictional complaints were dealt with by the Office of the Ombudsman from January 1997 to December 2015 - 14 303 from January 1997 to December 2009 and 12 031 from January 2010 to December 2015.
A computerised case management system was implemented in 1997, meaning statistics could be measured better.
The Office of the Ombudsman during the period under review also received 33 887 complaints, which included requests for information or advice and other miscellaneous matters.
In the report, Namibia's Ombudsman Advocate John Walters is quoted as having said that this figure is important to his institution in its own right as an indication of the frequency with which people turn of the Office of the Ombudsman for assistance with grievances, complaints and other related queries against the Government.
The figure also signifies that the people of Namibia are aware of their right to complain against the Government to the Office of the Ombudsman, without any fear of reprisal.
However, Advocate Walters said he regrets that his key priority - to make the Office of the Ombudsman accessible to all citizens in the country - is not yet realised.
We have been unable to find office accommodation at Tsumeb in the Oshikoto Region and Katima Mulilo in Zambezi, where we could only establish satellite offices until such time that we find appropriate office in Rundu in Kavango East Region and Otjiwarongo in Otjozondjupa Region, said the Ombudsman.
Walters also said his institution was forced to scale down on regional annual complaints intake clinics due to budgetary cuts during the period under review.
We reduced our visits to towns and villages by 40 per cent, he noted.
The Office of the Ombudsman was created by the Ombudsman Act (Act 7) of 1990, with mandates to receive and investigate maladministration, violation of human rights freedoms, misappropriation of public funds (monies) and misuse of government-owned properties.