Ensure safety in workplaces, CJ appeals

KIGOMA: THE Chief Justice of Tanzania Professor Ibrahim Juma has appealed to all employers in the country to ensure workplaces do not create an environment for accidents or deaths to employees.

Prof Juma made the call recently in Kigoma Region, when opening a working session to discuss labour laws that brought together judges and other judicial officers, as well as Management of Workers’ Compensation Fund and the Commission for Mediation and Arbitration (CMA).

“This fund is protected by us by looking at the working environment. Let’s reduce the causes that can lead to deaths, accidents in workplaces. We have to make sure our workplaces are friendly to employees,” he said.

The Chief Justice noted that he got a chance of going through the Workers’ Compensation Fund Act, in particular section 3 (f). He said that although the main enforcers of the law are the fund itself, it requires employers to ensure workplaces do not create conditions for accidents or deaths for employees.

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Prof Juma said that the decision of conducting the working session was not only timely but also important because it makes participants to have better and common understanding of labour laws.

“This working session is also an opportunity for stakeholders to discuss because the law could be one, but there is always a different understanding, so an opportunity to discuss among justice stakeholders helps to understand the law in detail,” he said.

The Chief Justice used the opportunity to encourage the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in all operational activities so that judicial institutions and all stakeholders can be integrated, a step that will help prevent fraud and make the fund resilient and compensation can be obtained timely.

Speaking at the same occasion, the Judge in Charge of the High Court’s, Labour Division, Dr Yose Mlyambia said that a total of five working sessions have been held between the Court and its stakeholders in Bagamoyo, Mwanza, Arusha, Songea and Kigoma.

He noted that a total of 290 leaders and employees have participated in those working sessions, including 70 judges, 33 deputy registrars, 11 court Administrators, 48 other stakeholders, 32 officials from CMA and more than 96 judicial employees.

Dr Mlyambina pointed out that in the Zones where they have conducted training, there are issues that have been raised by the participants with the aim of improving the Workers’ Compensation Act and some of the suggestions have already started to be worked on by the fund.

The Judge in Charge gave an example of a person who is not satisfied with the decision of the Director General of the Workers’ Compensation Fund to appeal to the Minister and later go to the High Court Labour Division.

“In previous trainings, it has been suggested that in order to shorten the chain of claiming compensation, a Tribunal should be established that will deal with appeals resulting from the decisions of the Director General of the Compensation Fund and other social security funds,” he said.

Dr Mlyambina also explained that the session held in Kigoma has been unique due to various reasons, including being the first training to be conducted by the High Court Division of Labour and the Compensation Fund for employees and also having a union chapter where one judge from the High Court of Zanzibar attended.

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