The Office of the Ombudsman has expressed concern over high rate of non-compliance to its determinations by most ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), saying the situation is undermining the relevance of the office.
The Ombudsman Martha Chizuma Mwangonde made the remarks at parliament building in Lilongwe Tuesday.
“This office is really challenged with lots of non-compliance [to its determinations] from most MDAs in the country. This is infringing on the rights of many Malawians who rely on this office for assistance.
“If we don’t comply, why should we have this office in the first place?” queried Mwangonde.
According to the Ombudsman, ADMARC, Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) and the Malawi Police Service (MPS) are among the few institutions which complied to determinations the office made to the institutions.
“The State House, Attorney General, Malawi Defense Force, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Health, Forestry Department, Ministry of Transport and Public Works, Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development were some of the MDAs with very high rate of non-compliance,” she said.
Speaking on the sidelines of the function, Ombudsman Public Relations Officer, Arthur Semba revealed that so far there are 306 cases to which different institutions have not complied.
“We had 13 determinations in 2016, 29 cases in 2017 issued under the current Ombudsman and 264 for the former Ombudsmen piling as non-complied determinations, which is a very big figure so far.
“That notwithstanding, the Ombudsman has also 112 cases under ordinary investigations but MDAs have been slow in remedying the various malaise occasioned,” Semba stated.
Lilongwe North East Member of Parliament who is also Chairperson for the Parliamentary Legal Committee, Maxon Thyolera, vowed to corner all organizations not complying.
“We will use the power vested in us to reverse the vice by taking them to task. People must be served with justice by honouring the determinations,” Thyolera said.
The office of the Ombudsman is legally mandated to inquire into any alleged instance or matter of abuse of any power or unfair treatment of any person by an official in the employment of any organ of government.
In addition, the office is mandated to manifest injustice or conduct by such official who would properly be regarded as oppressive or unfair in an open democratic society.