Mwinyi orders judicial institutions to embrace digital justice

ZANZIBAR President Dr Hussein Mwinyi on Monday ordered swift transformations in judicial institutions to embrace digital justice for speedy provision of legal rights to wananchi.

Dr Mwinyi, speaking at the Zanzibar Law Day at Tunguu High Court grounds here, said: “It’s high time all institutions underwent massive transformations and appreciated the fact that manual systems in institutional operations are outdated.”

He said the justice related institutions in the country have no option but to change and embrace technology in their operations.

“Digital justice is inevitable in the contemporary world; all institutions that deal with legal rights to wananchi have to change and devise strategic ICT (Information and Communication Technology) plans to easy their operations,” said President Mwinyi, targeting the Attorney General’s Office, Director of Public Prosecution, the Police and Correctional Centres.

He insisted, “We have to understand that any change or reform by the judiciary system will never succeed if other stakeholders and partners in justice provision are left behind.”

He directed all justice dispensing institutions to collaborate with Zanzibar E-government Agency in planning and designing effective ICT work plans and systems for their respective operations.

President Mwinyi further asked Zanzibar institutions to work closely with their Tanzania Mainland counterparts in skills and experience sharing, arguing: “…as a result of globalisation, the world has just become a small village.”

He hyped digital justice as critical in ensuring speedy provision of justice to wananchi, saying: “It’s obvious that this (digital justice) system is critical in building strong legal institutions to cope with science and technological changes, globally.”

President Mwinyi reaffirmed the revolutionary government’s commitment to investing heavily in appropriate infrastructure—modern court buildings, ICT and competent personnel—to support digital justice in the islands.

“Let me assure you of the government keenness to give priority to ICT uses and improvement of infrastructure in judicial institutions in the country,” he said, challenging public institutions to work on their budgets and present their work plans to the government for funding.

Dr Mwinyi tasked the E-government agency to closely monitor and support public institutions in installation of ICT systems, citing some of the benefits of digital operations as speedy case hearing and resolve; availability of collect case data; effective monitoring and proper case management.

He expressed optimism over the formation of an expert committee for the establishment of the special corruption and economic sabotage court, saying the court will amplify the fight against corruption and embezzlements in public offices.

Speaking at the event, Chief Justice (CJ) Professor Ibrahim Juma described the theme of the celebrations as a pledge by the Zanzibar Chief Justice to Zanzibar President, Zanzibaris and all stakeholders.

“…as we all know, promise is a debt; I firmly believe through these celebrations, we will earn efficiency, transparency and quality, which will not only help in dispensing justice but also in the economy and prosperity of the people of Zanzibar,” said Prof Juma.

Zanzibar CJ Khamis Ramadhan Abdalla appreciated the government efforts to introduce various systems to easy work performance, noting that digital justice is not for the judiciary alone but all stakeholders in the chain of justice delivery.

This year’s law week celebrations, themed “Digital Justice for Enhancement of Economy and Social Welfare,” were preceded with various activities, including CJ Juma’s tour of remedial centres in Unguja and Pemba; legal outreach programmes, issuance of advocate certificates and launch of digital registration of advocates, among others.

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