JUDICIAL REFORMS: TZ records milestone in judicial reforms

CHIEF Justice Ibrahim Juma has said that ongoing judicial reforms in the country have delivered impressive results, especially in changing workers’ perception towards dispensation of justice.

He said the reforms being undertaken through the Citizen-Centric Judicial Modernisation and Justice Service Delivery Project are not only about renovation and construction of new buildings but also changing workers’ perception towards justice delivery.

“We see more benefits than buildings in this project, among the areas which have recorded huge success is changing perception of workers towards justice delivery, including how clients are being served,” the CJ said yesterday during the launch of Busega District Court in Simiyu Region.

Busega District Court is among 18 new courts being built under the Citizen-Centric Judicial Modernisation and Justice Service Delivery Project funded by the World Bank.

He called upon citizens to expect better services from the court, because the judicial strategy and reform programmes have helped to change workers’ perception and have made them to value clients.

The CJ noted that another important area in the reforms is the fight against unethical conducts including corruption.

Prof Juma called upon wananchi to refrain from enticing workers to receive bribes or workers soliciting for bribe from their clients.

He further detailed that the reforms also have focused on improving the use of Information Communication Technology (ICT), stressing that “the court nowadays does not only dispense justice but also access important information such as the country’s legislations which can be obtained through the use of ICT.”

Prof Juma said the provision of services will not only depend on new buildings but also the use of technologies through ICT systems which will help to move the services closer to the people.

Representing the World Bank Country Director for Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi and Zimbabwe at the event, Ms Preeti Arora said that the opening of Busega Court is a key milestone in the implementation of the judicial reforms project.

She said the Citizen-Centric Judicial Modernisation and Justice Service Delivery Project which was introduced in 2015/2016 has delivered impressive results, such as reduction in court delays and backloads.

Ms Arora mentioned some of the results as the launch of virtual courts and easy access to justice during the Covid-19 pandemic which enabled citizens to continue to exercise their rights.

“The successful launch of integrated justice centres in different parts of the country and mobile courts have effectively expanded the access and brought services closer to the people in urban and rural areas,” she said.

She further said that the construction and operation of subordinate courts has brought services to some of the most remote parts of the country, including Busega District.

“These are very important results,” she said.

Ms Arora said that by recognising the achievements and to support further extension of justice service delivery to a broader segment of a population, the World Bank approved additional financing of 90 million US dollars this year, bringing the total to 155million US dollars for the project.

“The Judiciary plays an important role towards achieving sustainable social- economic development and this is well recognised in the UN SDGS,” she said.

She noted that the WB Group understands that effective service delivery is important for improving people’s lives and achieving its goal of reducing extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity.

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