Monday, February 4, 2008

Ex-cop questions justice at Ombudsman

Former policeman Hardie Makwerero has questioned the justice delivery system at Ombudsman saying his case, number OMB/BT/C/40/99, has been at the inquiry stage for nine years despite numerous reminders to the body to expedite it.
Makwerero complained to the Ombudsman that he was unfairly dismissed in 1998 by the Malawi Police Service after serving the service for about five years. The former Constable who was stationed at Limbe Police Station said his services were terminated through a radio message.
Makwerero claims the only reason he suspects might have led to his firing was absenteeism. But he said the service has not told him about that up to now. He said he reported the matter to Malawi Carer in 1998 who referred the issue to Office of the Ombudsman.
He said on several occasions the case has been closed at the Ombudsman office without giving him any reason for the action, and also the police, eight times has failed to appear before the ombudsman despite that letters of inviting them to attend the hearing were sent in all the occasion.
"What saddens and worries me is that the Ombudsman has not made progress on the case following the Malawi Police Service failure to attend hearing after being invited for the hearing for eight times since 2002," he said.
He said the Ombudsman's office on January 9, 2008 dispatched the ninth invitation to the Malawi Police Service to attend the inquiry but he said he was worried that there has been no response so far about whether they will attend or not.
Makwerero claims his services were terminated by word of mouth and he never received a letter of termination to justify the firing.
Spokesperson of the office of the Ombudsman Trustone Sabwera said he was aware of the case, saying the file case indicates that the inquiry on the matter had not been concluded. But he said could not say what was delaying the conclusion of the case.
He however said he was surprised that the case has taken unnecessarily so long saying all cases reported to the Ombudsman in 1999 were concluded.
"The case file in question indicated that the case is at inquiry stage, it is really a cause of concern that it has delayed so long. It is a very sad development. I will know the actual position of the case when I talk to the Ombudsman himself," he said.
National Police headquarter spokesperson Willie Mwaluka said they could not trace the letters from the Office of the Ombudsman on the case involving Makwerero.

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