EDITORIAL: Ombudsman needs to be more visible

In one of those rare occasions on the African continent, a High Court in Namibia has found a sitting minister guilty of corruption.

It was found that during a previous occupation, she had peddled her influence when she removed some people from the list of those to benefit from a mass housing project and inserted her own relatives.

Nepotism and abuse of office is a common practice in many countries where they flourish in impunity; accountability has been thrown to the dogs.

That same practice was very common in Rwanda before the liberation, where a small clique called the shots own and were untouchable.

Fighting corruption is one area that the current leadership should look back and thank the stars. The constant drumming of accountability, accountability and more accountability rang home. And it does not just end there; even causing the government losses whether by neglect or otherwise has its consequences.

In Rwanda, a person in that situation does not just get away with being fired, they have to pay for the losses and there are no sacred cows.

However, some measures put in place to check any form of graft need to be revamped. One institution that quickly comes to mind is the Office of the Ombudsman that should be more implicated and act on the Auditor General’s report.

I should cease to be seen as only going after the small fish because that is the impression one tends to get. It could be a mistaken assumption and that some big fish are caught in the nets if so the Ombudsman needs to change the office’s communication strategy.

The name-and-shame list is really low-key and needs to be expanded, something akin to a show of force, and the message will definitely be heard well and clear. But it should keep up the good job.