Judiciary assures WB of effective use of loans

DAR ES SALAAM: THE Chief Court Administrator, Professor Elisante Ole Gabriel has assured the World Bank’s Resident Director that the loans provided to the Judiciary of Tanzania on favorable terms will continue to be well-managed, to meet the actual needs of enhancing the delivery of justice for the welfare of citizens.

Prof Ole Gabriel made the remarks on Monday while accompanying the World Bank’s Resident Director for Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, Nathan Belete on a visit to the Integrated Justice Center (ICJ) for family matters in Temeke, Dar es Salaam.

The purpose of the visit was to inspect and learn about the various improvements being made to enhance the delivery of justice in the country through the World Bank project.

Prof Ole Gabriel thanked the Director and the World Bank delegation for their continued cooperation with the Judiciary, in the journey of significant reforms aimed at improving the delivery of justice.

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He emphasized that the Judiciary’s goal is to continuously improve the provision of justice and judicial services, particularly starting from the Primary Courts. Furthermore, Prof Ole Gabriel explained that approximately 70 per cent of the cases registered in the courts originate from the Primary Courts.

Therefore, the Judiciary’s focus is on ensuring that the infrastructure of these courts is strengthened to reduce the case load in the higher courts. He cited an example from 2015, where the backlog of cases was between 10 per cent and 12 per cent, and by December 2023, the backlog had decreased to 3 per cent.

He attributed this reduction to the substantial efforts of the government and the significant support and cooperation from the World Bank. In his remarks, the World Bank’s Resident Director Mr Belete acknowledged the substantial work done by the Tanzanian Judiciary to enhance the delivery of justice to its citizens.

“You often thank us, but I want to say that we should be the ones thanking you for giving us the opportunity to work with you. The World Bank appreciates the great trust you continue to show in us. We commend you for the significant efforts you are making to improve the justice delivery environment for citizens,” said Mr Belete.

Mr Belete emphasized that one of the key responsibilities of many African leaders is to ensure they improve the justice delivery systems for their citizens, to guarantee their rights through a free and transparent judicial system. Mr Belete noted the presence of a modern center like this clearly shows that the Tanzanian Judiciary has provided a reliable window to serve its citizens.

He added that the foundation of such infrastructure improvements is to facilitate the delivery of justice, reduce costs and eliminate delays in citizens’ quest for justice.

Mr Belete emphasized that through these centers, the Judiciary has the opportunity to further enhance other ongoing projects by designing and incorporating additional features to improve justice delivery for citizens.

Another notable aspect Mr Belete learned from the Judiciary is its collaborative approach with stakeholders in the entire justice delivery chain.

“I have seen various experts such as social welfare officers, gender desks, legal aid associations, and other stakeholders. This shows that the Judiciary does not see itself as the sole entity in delivering justice, but rather, stakeholder involvement is the foundation of these improvements,” he added.

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