THE Judiciary of Tanzania yesterday paid tribute to retired Chief Justice (CJ) Mohamed Chande Othman for immense contribution that had enabled it to discharge its constitutional mandate of dispensing justice and opening favourable conditions for easy access of justice to all.
Speaking at professional carrier and bidding farewell proceedings in Dar es Salaam yesterday, current CJ, Prof Ibrahim Juma, pointed out that access to justice was a fundamental right in itself and essential for the protection and promotion of all other civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights.
He said having been appointed the head of the Judiciary on December 28, 2010, Justice Othman employed his unique combination of diplomatic skills, prosecutor instinct and inner strengths, thus inspiring Judiciary officers of Tanzania to take what had turned out to be very bold and innovative reforms.
According to Prof Juma, his predecessor, who served the Judiciary for 12 years, showed that persuasion and leadership by example could place the Judiciary on a reforming road, including improving accountability of Judicial officers by the adoption of performance targets and benchmarks.
“You persuaded Judges of the High Court to agree a minimum number of cases, which each should dispose of annually.
Judges settled for a minimum of 220 cases with the exception of the High Court (Commercial Division), where each judge is required to decide an annual minimum of 100 cases,” he said.
The CJ also pointed out that it was during Othman’s tenure as CJ, when he persuaded judges and magistrates to agree on the life-span of cases filed in all levels of courts in Tanzania from Primary Court to the Court of Appeal.