Office of the Investigator General Essay Sample


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Until the early 1970s. Zambia did non hold the office of the Ombudsman or Investigator General. In 1972 when instances of corruptness and maltreatment of power were going more rampant. Dr Kenneth Kaunda the republican president so expressed a wish and desire to put up an establishment to contend these frailties. Therefore this marked the birth of the Office of the Investigator General which is besides known as the Commission of Investigations or the Ombudsman. This office. among other things. was mandated to oversee the work of the executive by look intoing on its maladministration. Sad though. the Office of the Investigator General can be said to be really small heard about its activities and accomplishments and yet this is a really of import establishment in Zambia. Although it is a authorities flying which passionately wants to contend corruptness in the state it has been neglected. Suffice to advert. the essay purposes. hence. to discourse the importance of this Office in the control of administrative action. in an effort to further protection of the individual’s rights in the state-individual dealingss with mention to the legislative acts and other relevant governments.

Importance of the Office of the Investigator General in the control of administrative action

There are three ways in administrative jurisprudence that trade with maladministration. viz. through beginning of Judicial Review Proceedings under Order 53 of the Rules of the Supreme Court. the Tribunal under Inquiries Act and eventually puting a ailment to the Investigator General. The latter is really of import in the attainment of administrative justness. This office is established by the Constitution of Zambia. Article 90 ( 1 ) of the Constitution of Zambia Act stipulates that:

“There shall be an Investigator General of the Republic who shall be appointed by the President in audience with the Judicial Service
Commission and shall be the Chairman of the Commission for Investigations. ”

Its authorization is founded under Cap 39 of the Commission for Investigations Act. In a democracy such as Zambia. administrative jurisprudence is the most of import vehicle for administrative justness. It is for this ground that the creative activity of the Office of Investigator General is of import to guarantee that justness is carried out when individual’s rights have been infringed. The importance of this office is that it is inexpensive and there are no formalities required. For case. there is no demand for a plaintiff to prosecute a attorney to manage his instance. Most significantly. the constitution of this wing is justified:

•as an instrument of human rights ;
•as a alone mechanism of democratic control over bureaucratism ;
•as a formal avenue for damages of grudge against administrative error ; and
•as an instrument of undertaking bureaucratic pathologies.

The Commission contributes significantly to the administrative answerability. Through accessible and simple ailment header processs. the Investigator General serves as the people’s defender against mistakes or maltreatment by public functionaries at minimal cost and hold as earlier alluded to. Although there are no powers to implement the Commission’s recommendation and elsewhere. it has however persuasive authorization to travel the executive to take action being a respectable establishment in the state. The impact of the Office of the Investigator General was summed up by Professor Geoffrey Salver when he observed:

“A good Ombudsman will cut down complacence. verging towards haughtiness. which is a characteristic frailty of bureaucratisms and he will besides take many of the french friess on shoulders which tend to expose in their dealing with authorities. ”

Under Part III of the Commission for Investigations Act. Cap 39 Section 8. the Commission has powers and responsibilities to look into individuals in the public service. members in the service of a local authorization. members and individuals in the service of any establishment or administration. whether established by or under the Act of Parliament or otherwise. in which the Government holds a bulk of portions or exercises fiscal or administrative control save the President. With the directive of the President. the Commission may look into the behavior of any individual to whom the Act. applies in the exercising of his office or authorization or the maltreatment of such authorization.

Besides. the Commission may on their gesture look into anyone. where it considers that an allegation of maladministration or maltreatment of office or authorization ought to be investigated. The plaintiff may be an single. a organic structure of individuals corporate or incorporate. which ailment may be unwritten or in authorship and should be authenticated. The Commission has absolute discretion to overrule any restriction sing a ailment that it must be made within two old ages from the day of the month on which facts giving rise to any such ailment or allegation arose.

The Commission may hear the ailment if fall backing to other agencies has induced fright or may do undue adversity. disbursal or hold. The Commission may decline to carry on an probe if the ailment is fiddling. frivolous. annoying or non made in good religion or if the hurt would be unneeded. improper or fruitless. Should that be the instance. the plaintiff is informed of the discontinuation of the probes in composing but it is non bound to give grounds.

The legal power and powers conferred on the Commission may be exercised notwithstanding any proviso in any written to the consequence that an act or skip shall be concluding or that no appeal shall lie against such an act or skip or that no proceeding or determination shall be challenged. reviewed. quashed or called in inquiry. When carry oning probes. the Commission is empowered to publish waies. orders and writs. which it considers to be facilitative to the procedure. It may cite informants and issue warrant for their apprehension if biddings are destroyed. The Commission can order production of paperss relevant to the probe and no duty to keep secretiveness or other limitation upon the revelation of information can be entertained. This is against the background that the President may attest that the revelation of papers may harm national security or hurts to cabinet secrets and public involvement. Most importantly probes are conducted in camera and legal representation or to be heard is non a right. This is provided in the Act. which reads:

“No individual shall as of right be entitled to be represented by a legal practician or to be heard…”

From the predating it can be concluded that the Acts of the Apostless of the Commission are concluding save for deficiency of legal power. An probe. continuing procedure or study could non be held bad for any mistake or abnormality of signifier or be challenged. reviewed. quashed or called in inquiry in any tribunal. The members and staff of the Commission have absolute unsusceptibility for anything done in good religion in the class of exercising of their maps. They could non even be summoned to travel and come in in grounds anything that came to their cognition in the exercising of their maps.

Additionally. this is a really of import office for the control of executive power in that it investigates any public organic structure or corporation. The maps and powers of the Investigator General are spelt out in the committee for Investigations Act. The Office of Investigator General helps accomplish administrative justness for any aggrieved by an act of a public organic structure or corporation in that it investigates such an maltreatment of power and recommends to the President on the action to be taken against such organic structure or corporation in the event that an maltreatment of office or power has been established.

This is the most of import right linked to administrative justness.

( I ) Article 18 ( 1 ) of the Constitution of Zambia provinces that:

“A person… shall be afforded a just hearing within sensible clip by an independent and impartial tribunal established by jurisprudence. ”

The right to be heard is one of the chief natural rights that adult male is endowed with. If a individual has been. for illustration. fired by a public organic structure without being given a just hearing or being non heard at all. administrative jurisprudence brings in the right to be heard. In the famed English instance of Ridge v Baldwin the Chief Constable was suspended on some charges. He was called before a disciplinary organic structure but was non called before another organic structure that finally dismissed him from the force. It was held by the House of Lords that his dismissal was void and null as he had non been given the chance to be heard.

Further. in the instance of Cooper v Wandsworth Rural Council it was held that the determination to pulverize the houses notwithstanding that. it was a right 1 was however null as the council had non given the applier the right to be heard. In the Zambian instance of Kangombe v Attorney General the right to be heard was besides discussed. In the instance. the schoolmaster applier had been suspended by the Teaching Service Commission on evidences of being partizan. He went to look before the Commission. it was resolved that he be re-instated but the so Secretary General of Government. Aaron Milner put in the study to be submitted to the President some allegations which had non personally been brought to the attending of the applier. The applier was consequently dismissed by the President. The tribunal had the chance to look at the right to be heard when it stated that his dismissal was void and null as the applier had non been given the right to be heard on the allegations sent to the President which led to his dismissal.

( two ) A individual non to be a justice in his ain instance

Another right connected to Administrative justness is for a individual non to be a justice in his ain cause. This is expressed in Latin as “Neno det in Causa Sua” . There will. finally be struggle of involvement if such a instance arises and administrative justness can non be attained. In the instance of Dines v Guard Junction Canal Lord Cottenan had portions in the canal. When a difference arose between the canal and the applier. the instance came before the General Lord.

He decently disclosed his involvement but however. proceeded to hear the instance and gave a sound determination. On entreaty. the House of Lords stressed the fact that even if the determination given by Lord was unbiased. there were facts that he had adjudicated in the affair made him an interested party and therefore confirming this as a land for entreaty.

In the Zambian instance of Patel and Another V Yoram Mumba and Others the impression of being a justice in one’s cause was rejected. However. the Supreme Court. in make up one’s minding in the above instance which involved in the lower tribunal a conversation by the test justice and the respondents attorney as to a funeral for the judge’s niece whom Counsel knew and where the couple planned to travel together before the justice gave a opinion. the plaintiff in errors claimed that the justice by personally cognizing the respondent’s advocate had become impartial taking to him allowing the respondents an injunction on frivolous evidences. The Supreme Court. nevertheless. noted that in Zambia. the legal profession is a little and immature profession and the impression of Judgess and advocate cognizing each other personally could non be ruled out particularly that some of these Judgess and attorneies were either schoolmates at University or some were pupils of others.

The above are the most of import right connected to administrative justness which the Office of the Investigator General is involved.


In decision. it can be accepted that administrative jurisprudence is the most of import vehicle for administrative justness in a democracy like Zambia. Important to observe is that some of the chief agents of administrative jurisprudence in the state such as the Courts and the Investigator General are magisterially enshrined in the fundamental law. Besides to be noted is that the rights linked to administrative jurisprudence such as the right to be heard in peculiar is non merely stipulated by Article 18 of the Constitution but has been adjudicated upon the tribunals.


Linda. R. F. ( 1977 ) . The International Ombudsman Yearbook Vol. 1 11A

Salverm G. ( 1968 ) . Ombudsman. ( 2nd ed. ) . Melbourne: Melbourne University Press

Legislative acts

The Constitution of Zambia Act. Cap 1 of the Laws of Zambia
The Commission for Investigations Act. Cap 39 of the Laws of Zambia


Cooper V Wandsworth Rural Council [ 1952 ] 2 QB 86
Dines v Guard Junction Canal [ 1868 ] 2 HC 392
Kangombe V Attorney General [ 1972 ] Z. R
Patel and Another V Yoram Mumba and Ors SCZ No. 13 of 2003
Ridge V Baldwin [ 1948 ] 2 AC 548


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