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Ombudsman interviews to go public

2021-07-20  Maria Amakali

Ombudsman interviews to go public
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The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has decided to hold public interviews for the shortlisted candidates to fill the position of Ombudsman. 

In a statement issued yesterday, the commission has shortlisted National Council secretary, Tousy Namiseb, Fishcor acting chief executive officer, Ruth Herunga and Basilius Dyakugha who is a chief legal officer at Law Reform and Development Commission. 

Herunga also applied and was shortlisted for the prosecutor general position earlier this year. Incumbent Martha Imalwa was reappointed. “In line with the principles of transparency and accountability, the JSC at its meeting of 4 June 2021 resolved to conduct a public interview, which includes live streaming of the proceedings,” reads the statement. Following the advertisement of the vacancy in May, the Affirmative Repositioning (AR) called on the JSC to consider having public interviews. 

The movement was of the view the person to succeed the current Ombudsman, John Walters should be put through a public interview process for more transparency.

The public interviews, which will be a first of its kind, are scheduled to take place on 23 July. 

The appointment of a successful candidate will bring an end to Walters’ tenure which began in 2004. 

The successful candidate as part of his or her duties will be empowered and bound by the constitution to investigate complaints about
violations of fundamental rights and “freedoms, abuse of power, corruption, unfair, harsh, insensitive or discourteous treatment of an inhabitant of Namibia by an official in the employment of any organ of government”, and complaints about the over-utilisation of Namibia’s living natural resources, the irrational exploitation of non-renewable resources, or the degradation and destruction of the country’s ecosystem and failure to protect the beauty and character of Namibia.

The constitution also gives the Ombudsman the power to approach a court to have offending action or conduct or offending procedures stopped.

2021-07-20  Maria Amakali

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