Ombudsman challenges public officers to improve service delivery

Malawi Ombudsman Martha Chizuma has challenged public office bearers to improve their service delivery and efficiently serve the people they represent.

OmbudsmanMartha Chizuma : Issues of accountability are secondary to the rural masses

Chizuma said the majority of Malawians living on less than a dollar a day, their priority is not to hold public officers accountable but their primary concern is finding food for the day.

“Issues of accountability are secondary to the rural masses even if they get poor service they will just ignore it.

In such cases, the accountability battle is an uphill task, that’s where the office of the ombudsman comes in through the mobile clinics to be proactive and reach out to authorities on behalf of the people,” she said.

Chizuma said her office introduced mobile clinics to address such challenges and bring services of the office of the ombudsman to people in rural areas.

“We go to a district and interface with the District Executive Committee (DEC) and engage people at various levels including the communities, asking them about issues they have with public service providers such as police, health and education.

“From the issues we get, the office carries its own investigations but where we have failed, we bring the issues to the District Executive Committee.

“At this level, we ask for specific action and give to each a deadline when specific tasks have to be completed,” she said.

As part of the mobile clinics, the Ombudsman Thursday engaged with District Executive Committee in Ntchisi.

According to the Ombudsman, Ntchisi is doing well in public service delivery compared to other districts.

“We have awarded two public officers in the district including the police because they are doing exceptionally well based on how responsive they are in discharging duties,” she said.

District Commissioner for Ntchisi, James Manyetera, commended the Office of the Ombudsman for engaging DEC members on how they can improve their service delivery.

“We are still lagging behind, especially in the rural areas where the common person does not know what their rights are.

“It is upon us to improve service delivery so that we reach every person in the district, so, the interaction through the mobile clinics, have been helpful,” she said.

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