Botswana: Ministries Delay Cases – Ombudsman


Lack of responsiveness hinders the swift examination of cases brought before the Ombudsman.

When appearing before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on May 19, acting Ombudsman, Mr William Moncho, said ministries and departments were also in the habit of prolonging internal investigations that also affected their turnaround period of five months per case.

“Occasionally we call on departments or ministries and issue subpoena in terms of the Ombudsman Act,” he said.

Mr Moncho said there was generally slow service delivery in government departments that also affected the Ombudsman.

Asked as to why the Ombudsman was not administered like others elsewhere in the region, he said public protectors were constituted under different laws.

Mr Moncho said the Botswana Ombudsman was incapacitated or not powerful enough to take cases to court as compared to other Ombudsman elsewhere in Africa, noting that they could only go as far as submitting a special report to the national assembly, which could then decide on taking the case further.

“If toothless means absence of powers of compulsion, I would like to concur and say ‘Yes’, he said, in response to Francistown West MP, Ignitious Moswaane’s comment who referred to the Ombudsman as toothless.

On other issues, Mr Moncho said his office intended to improve accessibility and decentralisation by setting up two or more offices in Maun and Tsabong.

For the longest time, we had only two offices in Gaborone and Francistown.

Member of PAC, Mr Samson Guma advised the Ombudsman to improve its financial management by guiding the Auditor General and adhering to submission guidelines.

Source: Botswana Daily News