On Friday 10 November 2023, Ombudsman of the Republic of Malawi, Grace Tikambenji Malera, pressed on government authorities across African nations and beyond to support the role of Civilian Oversight entities over military and other security bodies.
Speaking during the Annual Symposium of the South African Military Ombud in Gauteng, Honorable Malera said it should be understood that Civilian Oversight institutions do not substitute the administrative authority of the security agencies.
Making a presentation on ‘The Justification of Designated Entity Over Military in Enhancing Good Governance and Administrative Justice’ honorable Malera stressed that Civilian Oversight Institutions don’t compete for administrative space either.
“The Civil Oversight institutions are complimentary institutions which ensure that people that are unsatisfied or clearly un-helped by the set international mechanisms are at liberty to lodge their complaints in writing or other means,” she said.
The complaints Malera said can range from general misconduct of officers, of the Military like the Malawi Defense Force (MDF), unconstitutional conduct and use of excessive and unreasonable force among others.
“This helps law enforcement agencies to be responsive, transparent and accountable through civilian involvement,” the honorable Ombudsman added.
During the presentation the Malawi Ombudsman Malera also challenged military establishments in African nations and beyond to be law compliant being creations of the law.
Malera said this over the weekend during a presentation at the 2023 South African Military Ombud symposium.
Making a presentation on ‘The Justification of Designated Entity Over Military in Enhancing Good Governance and Administrative Justice’ honorable Malera stressed that Africa needs trusted institutions focused on righting injustices and bolstering quality good governance, and that security bodies are crucial for the cause.
She therefore called for support towards civilian oversight and designated entities which among other things according to her exist to complement military establishments and that they should not be seen as vices.
“Professional working relationship between the two entities is critical and is necessary for sustaining trust, public confidence and promoting order among others. Efforts should be put on ensuring that there is always good workings relationship between the two entities,” Honorable Malera said.
The Malawi Ombudsman then advised that Military establishments which have embraced designated entities over military should aid those who are struggling to embrace the designated entities.
In the presentation Malera stressed that it should be understood that Civilian Oversight institutions do not substitute the administrative authority of the security agencies.
Adding that Civilian Oversight entities do not compete for administrative space either.
This was the second time Malera attended the South African Military Ombud Symposium after the one held in 2022; the theme for 2023 symposium was ‘The Role of Military Ombud Institutions in Promoting Human Rights and Administrative Justice Within The Military In The African Context.’
Other speakers at the event were Advocate Kholeka Gcaleka Public Protector-South Africa, Kenyan Ombudsman, Honorable Florence Kajuju and Mr Steven Ramafoko who is head for Legal Services at the Independent Police Investigative Directorate, South Africa.
Source: Ombudsman of the Republic of Malawi