The office of the Ombudsman says it will partner with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) such as National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) in order to effectively reach out to rural areas with its services.
Deputy Director of Research, Documentation and Civic Education in the office of the Ombudsman, Vincent Kondowe, disclosed this on Friday in Mzuzu after a day-long sensitisation workshop aimed at promoting transparency, accountability and good governance in public offices.
“We really want to partner with CSOs such as NICE, Save the Children and Every Child Malawi who have geographical presence in different areas across the country by training them so that the public can access our services through these organisations right away in their districts,” Kondowe said.
He said besides the plans of partnering with CSOs, the Office of the Ombudsman recently opened the central region office and will soon open another one in Balaka in order to save the people of eastern region.
Kondowe then assured the general public that with the policy that is now in force, their cases will be resolved within the period of six months.
“It is true that our cases were taking long to be completed because of insufficient resources and shortage of staff, but there has been an improvement since the office underwent restructuring,” Kondowe said.
Speaking earlier, Assistant Registrar of Mzuzu University, Chiyamiko Chinkwita Phiri, urged the office of the Ombudsman to be proactive by ensuring that the government arms conduct their businesses fairly and respect people`s rights.
Chinkwita Phiri said charging fines and punishments only worsens the situations that would have been avoided if government watchdogs such as the Ombudsman were proactive to intervene in the situations before they go wrong.
The office of the Ombudsman was formed in 1995 after government felt that democracy would be meaningless without putting in place watchdogs that could curb any excess or abuse of power which would threaten the foundation of democracy and rule of law.