New ombudsman welcomes appointment
06 September 2021 | Justice
Newly appointed ombudsman Basilius Dyakugha has dismissed notions that he may not have been the strongest candidate when public interviews were held two weeks ago.
Dyakugha added that the panel chosen to select a new ombudsman had taken the correct decision to appoint him.
The Judicial Service Commission had made its recommendations clear to President Hage Geingob, who appointed Dyakugha last Friday.
Dyakugha was shortlisted for the post together with Fishcor board deputy chairperson Ruth Herunga and National Council secretary Tousy Namiseb.
“Namibia is a free country and the constitution is clear on freedom of expression,” Dyakugha said.
“The panel that was tasked to select the suitable candidate is a highly credible panel… their decision was the correct decision in my view,” Dyakugha said.
Namibians would get to know him better once he took up the post in October, Dyakugha said.
“Many Namibians don’t know me; I’ve been a silent civil servant. They will get to know me once I get into the position of ombudsman,” he said.
Outlining his immediate priority, Dyakugha said he hoped to fill the position of head of administration within the Office of the Ombudsman.
“I will first have to be briefed by the outgoing ombudsman on ongoing projects… the head of administration position has been vacant, that will be my immediate priority, filling that position,” Dyakugha said.
Outgoing ombudsman Advocate John Walters welcomed the public interviews and said the same should be done when selecting judges and executive directors.
“It was a very transparent process. I believe going forward, public interviews even for judges and executive directors should be held,” Walters said.
Political commentator Ndumbah Kamanyah said Dyakugha would have to work on making the public more aware of the role of the ombudsman.
“The relevancy of that institution to our democracy has been dwindling over the past years; therefore, I think it is important for the new leadership to reintroduce the relevancy and the importance of that office again.
“I think its functions are misunderstood, hence there is need for awareness creation in terms of its mission, vision and processes,” said Kamanyah.