Parliament has failed the Ombudsman

11 Jul 2019 11:30am
WINDHOEK, 11 JUL (NAMPA) – Advocate John Walters declared that the Namibian Parliament has failed the Office of the Ombudsman as its last authority of enforcement.
In an interview with Nampa on Wednesday, the Ombudsman stated that the Parliament does not do his office justice in any way, from enquiring whether the allocated budget will suffice for his office to fully execute their duties, to following up if the recommendations of his reports were enforced.
“When my budget was presented by the Minister of Foreign Affairs (Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah), did anyone of the opposition, especially [official opposition party leader McHenry Venaani] or anyone ask ‘is that money enough for the Ombudsman to executive his duties effectively’? Nobody asked that in the past 15 years,” explained Walters.
Walters added that he has sent 14 annual reports to Parliament but no Member of Parliament has held him accountable for the content or bothered to discuss it.
Last year, Walters threatened Land Reform Minister Utoni Nujoma with legal action when dragged his heels on producing the master list of beneficiaries of the land resettlement programme.
“No one in Parliament from the opposition parties ever asked him why he is not adhering to the Ombudsman’s request for the list of beneficiaries,” Walters added.
This comes after Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) president Venaani accused Walters of being captured by the State at a media conference on Wednesday morning.
“Knowing that the Ombudsman is a captured man who is walking at will at when Government tells him what to do and not to do because I have lodged a number of complaints with the Ombudsman and up to this moment, he has not brought any one to me,” Venaani said.
Venaani also called President Hage Geingob’s planned meetings around the country a bluff, stating that if he really wanted to meet with the community members or farmers that are suffering from the drought he would go to smaller towns and the meeting halls of the farmers.
“[President Geingob] I am calling your bluff, do not go to Otjiwarongo, do not go to Erongo; go to those drought stricken farmers, go to the mountains and go see for yourself what the situation on the ground is,” Venaani requested Geingob.