THE introduction of the office of Public Protector to replace the office of the Investigator General in the 2016 Constitution is a positive development, State Counsel Willie Mubanga has said.
Mr Mubanga noted that the position of Public Protector will enable the office holder to investigate actions and decisions taken or omitted by a State institutions in the performance of an administrative function.
He said this in a statement yesterday that the introduction of the Public Protector under Article 244 of the Constitution of Zambia 2016 would enable the Investigator General not only to investigate, recommend and report to the President but also enable him to cite a person or authority for contempt for failure to carry out a decision.
Mr Mubanga said the Public Protector had the same powers as those of the High Court in enforcing the attendance of witnesses and examining them on oath and compelling the production of documents and enforcing decisions issued by the Public Protector.
He said to appreciate this provision one had to look at injustices and unfairness in State institutions, which include ministries, departments and statutory bodies.
Mr Mubanga charged that some public servants were being unjustly and unfairly treated and were suffering quietly in the area of human rights. “For instance, a number of people come to my office and leave anonymous circulars against those in administration as regards nepotism, favoritism, tribalism, unfair treatment and gross harassment, in the hope that I am politically connected and would therefore find a way of accessing the President to resolve their grievances,” Mr Mubanga said.
He said the Public Protector in the Constitution appears to be an answer to the serious concerns raised by various aggrieved parties. Mr Mubanga said people in administration doing wrong would be exposed as the institutions are for the public who are the tax payers. He said the Public Protector would take up someone’s issue on their behalf at probably a minimum administrative cost.