Don’t interfere, govt told

National

By MALUM NALU
FORMER chief ombudsman Ila Geno says there should be no Government interference in the work of the Ombudsman Commission, especially in the prolonged delay of naming the chief ombudsman.
He said this yesterday after announcing that he had joined Pangu Pati as its strategic adviser on internal security and governance.
Geno, 68, is from Kalo village in Rigo, Central, and was chief ombudsman from 2001-2008.
“Being a former ombudsman and chief ombudsman, I always hold the view that there are very strong laws,” he said.
“The laws are there and protect the rights of the ombudsman and also the investigators.
“As far as I’m concerned, the Office of the Ombudsman Commission and members of the ombudsman commission, are pretty well protected by the constitution in terms of appointments and performance of their duties.
“If they understand the law, as far as I’m concerned, nothing should stop them from performing their duties.”
Geno said issues of the Ombudsman Commission had unfortunately not been properly addressed by the State.
He said that included the appointment of a chief ombudsman “taking forever and ever”.
“Why?” Geno said.
“The ball is in the court of the appointments committee which comprises the prime minister as chairman, leader of the opposition, chief justice, chairman of the public service commission, and chairman of the parliamentary committee on appointments.
“There’s an indication that the appointments’ committee is not performing its duties – I’m sorry to say that.
“This is reflected in the fact that there is a prolonged acting chief ombudsman of a very important institution in this country.”

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