FRANCISTOWN: It seems people have not figured out the difference between the Ombudsman and the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crimes (DCEC).
This became evident at a breakfast seminar hosted by the Ombudsman in Francistown last week. The seminar was aimed at bringing the Ombudsman closer to the people, especially the NGOs and the private sector.
The head of station of the Ombudsman's office in Francistown region, Edwin Batswalelwang explained to the participants the different roles the two offices play.
He conceded that people often found themselves at DCEC while they are supposed to be at Ombudsman's office or vice versa. He said that the role of the Ombudsman is different from the DCEC.
"We do not cover issues of corruption. If people come to us with issues of corruption, we refer them to DCEC and vice-versa," he said.
Batsalelwang said that people should understand that DCEC
"DCEC investigates corruption which in most cases involves bribery and that is a criminal offence but at Ombudsman, we investigate maladministration which is not a criminal offence," he stated. "Maladministration might result from pure negligence, human error, lack of knowledge and so forth," he added.
He said the Ombudsman's intention is not to punish though during investigations, they might go further and probe if the victim suffered any prejudice due to the maladministration.
"We recommend remedial ways to deal with the problem," he explained. One of the participants Themba Mguni said that he did not understand why the Ombudsman had left out the private sector, which contributes to corruption in the public service.