11 December 2012

Namibia: Ombudsman Opens Erongo Regional Office

THE Office of the Ombudsman opened its Erongo regional office in Swakopmund on Friday.

The new office is situated in the same building as the Swakopmund Magistrate's Court.

The official opening of the office was designed to coincide with Human Rights Day celebrated yesterday.

"With this new office, our service is made accessible to more Namibian citizens to promote and defend human rights and good governance," said Ombudsman John Walters.

Dr Peingeondjabi Shipoh, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Justice, said the opening of the regional office was part of the government's decentralisation policy.

"This does not mean we interfere with the ombudsman's work. The ombudsman is an independent body to ensure concerns of the public regarding government institutions. The only link they have with the ministry is for financial assistance and moral support," said Shipoh.

The ombudsman investigates complaints about administration of government, including municipalities, town and village councils and parastatals, as well as human rights complaints against any person or institution in Namibia.

"We are often accused of taking long before resolving complaints, but now we are committed to resolve issues in 90 days, come hell or high water," Walters vowed.

There are already ombudsman's offices in Keetmanshoop and Oshakati, and soon new offices will also open in the Kavango and Otjozondjupa regions.

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