Thursday, December 3, 2020

Ombudsman opens office in Maun and vows to crack the whip

The office of the Ombudsman says it will do everything possible to address issues of maladministration and unethical conduct in Ngamiland District. This was said by the Ombudsman Festinah Bakwena when addressing Tawana Land Board administration staff in Maun on Monday. 

Bakwena said that Botswana has over the past years maintained a renowned public service.

She said delays by administrators to address public grievances on time are some of the issues which have led to complaints piling up thereby creating corruption at the workplace. 

She said this should come to an end.

Bakwena said there has been a re-occurrence of maladministration because some departments do not pay critical attention to grievances as they come by. Bakwena added that in some cases such people also victimize subordinate staff who report maladministration particularly when reports are made contrary to what they would have wanted, hence the need by the office to continue engagement with administrators to sensitize on mindset change.

 “It is our wish that all people who have been mandated to deliver services to the people should do so in good faith and in the most suitable way while always giving feedback – whether positive or negative,” said Bakwena.  

 “People should not be given shoddy service because at the end of the day they might even lose trust. And so we have resolved to open an office in Maun as district headquarters so as to improve accessibility.” 

Bakwena also stated that 60 percent of complaints brought to her office are from the public service, whom she says complain against themselves in most instances, either because they are not aware of what procedures to follow or what is expected out of them.

 Responding to the issue of unwarranted transfers of staff to other places even without the consent of the staffer, Bakwena said she has personally made an observation that some people are randomly transferred as punishment and without proper engagement. She said however that cases differ individually as there are some people who just choose to leave without questioning and later come back to launch complaints based on various reasons.

For his part Chief Legal Investigator at the Office of the Ombudsman Ramatlotlo Selei advised Tawana Land Board Administrators that they should lead by example and from time to time work within the parameters of the law. 

For the reason that most administrators always fail to admit their failures and wrong doings, he said it has been a common knowledge that they always choose to be defensive of their actions and at times cause relevant documents to miss from files. “This is very bad practice. I would suggest you come forward whenever you find yourselves in sinking into a dilemma as a result of your actions because you’ll need to admit and where possible provide appropriate remedy and at the end render  an effective service”, he said.

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper

The Telegraph December 2

Digital edition of The Telegraph, December 2, 2020.