OTJIWARONGO, 17 MAR – The Office of the Ombudsman on Friday officially opened a satellite office in Otjiwarongo in the Otjozondjupa Region to bring its services closer to the people.
Ombudsman, Advocate John Walters and senior officials in his office attended the event, which marked the opening of their fifth office, while Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Justice, Issaskar Ndjoze officially inaugurated the new office.
Ndjoze said the primary duties of this office are to investigate complaints lodged against any Government agency or ministry in line with the service delivery to residents.
He said complaints lodged by community members on violation of human rights and people’s freedoms will be investigated and action taken against such an office by the Ombudsman’s office.
“Other forms of maladministration in public offices can also be investigated by this office,” said Ndjoze, adding that the Ombudsman’s office is tasked by the Constitution to be independent, impartial and execute its duties diligently without fear, favour or prejudice.
The PS said by doing so, the Ministry of Justice also has a mandate to provide financial and human resources to the Office of the Ombudsman.
The five operational offices of the Ombudsman are in Otjiwarongo, Ongwediva, Windhoek, Keetmanshoop and Swakopmund.
On his part, Otjozondupa Regional Governor Otto Ipinge in a speech delivered on his behalf said the Office of the Ombudsman in Otjiwarongo is welcome, and will be utilised to the fullest by residents, officials and politicians like him.
“We welcome your office as a watchdog in our region against some practices of maladministration, human rights violations, corruption and protection of the environment,” said Ipinge.
Otjiwarongo Mayor Bennes Haimbondi said the Office of the Ombudsman should intensify the promotion and protection of fundamentals of human rights by holding free legal public meetings in parts of the country.
“People should not travel long distances to lodge complaints in Windhoek. Your services need to be brought closer to them,” he said.
The Otjiwarongo office is situated in the Directorate of Education, Arts and Culture office complex.
Plans to open branches in other parts of the country will be considered once funds are available, Walters said.