17 December 2012

Namibia: Ombudsman Opens Erongo Office

In an effort to bring service closer to the communities, the Ombudsman opened a regional office in Swakopmund last week that will investigate all complaints received within the Erongo Region.

The office is situated in the Ministry of Justice building in Swakopmund. Although it is only the third regional office to be established so far in the country, Ombudsman John Walters indicated that the Erongo office was deemed necessary since many complaints have been received from the region, as well as to ensure free flow of communication between complainants and investigators.

He said two more regional offices would be opened in due course depending on the number of complaints that will be received from the public.

"These are essential services for our people - therefore the opening of the Ombudsman's office in Erongo was done in line with government's efforts to bring services closer to the people," Walters said during the official opening.

Also speaking at the same occasion, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Justice, Dr Peingeondjabi Shipoh, emphasized the importance of the policy of decentralization.

Shipoh further said that the Ombudsman's office, like many other directorates within the Ministry of Justice is only linked to the ministry for financial and personnel matters, but is run independently by the Ombudsman

"The Ombudsman's office will never be compromised in any way and we will ensure that constitutional and legal obligations are met without interference from the government," Shipoh said.

He said the establishment of the office is in line with Ministry of Justice's strategic plan, which places a high premium on accessibility and to enhance confidence in the judicial system.

Shipoh said the ministry will further assist the Ombudsman to establish regional offices at Rundu and Otjiwarongo in due course.

He urged residents of the Erongo Region to utilise the Ombudsman's office for good governance and development in the country.

The Ombudsman strives to promote and protect human rights, promote fair and effective administration, combat corrupt practices and protect the environment and natural resources of Namibia through independent and impartial investigation and resolution of complaints, as well as raising public awareness.

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