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Title:Protecting the public from maladministration by the public service: the development of the office of ombudsman
Author:Hatchard, J.ISNI
Periodical:The Zimbabwe Law Review
Geographic term:Zimbabwe
Abstract:The office of ombudsman in Africa has several distinctive features, such as appointment by the executive rather than the legislature, and lack of enforcement powers. Generally, moreover, the ombudsman is a multimember institution rather than an individual. In Zimbabwe, the Ombudsman Act of 1982 laid down a detailed scheme of operation and on 1 September 1982 the first ombudsman took up his appointment. However, while the ombudsman has made an encouraging start, there are a number of areas in which improvements can be made, such as extending his jurisdiction and expanding the office. Other problems include inadequate staffing and lack of financial independence, the relatively short term of office (three years, renewable for up to three years), the absence of power to take effective legal action against recalcitrant bodies, and the need to find ways of reaching those in the rural areas. Notes, ref.