Life of soldier, CJ, priest

Life of soldier, CJ, priest

PRESIDENT John Magufuli led members of the legal fraternity and the general public to mourn retired Chief Justice (CJ) Judge Augustino Ramadhani who died on Tuesday at Aga Khan Hospital in Dar es Salaam after a long illness.

The Head of State sent condolences to the Chief Justice, Prof Ibrahim Juma, saying the former CJ will be remembered for his exemplary service and devotion to the nation.

“I have received with great sadness the news of the death of the late Chief Justice Augustino Ramadhani. I wish to express my sincere condolences to you, the family of the deceased, all the honorable judges and the staff of the Judiciary of Tanzania,” President Magufuli said in his statement , adding: “When I visited him at the hospital, his remarks were centred on his belief in God… I am praying to God to rest his soul in eternal peace.”

Dr Magufuli asked the CJ to extend his condolences to the deceased’s family, all judges, magistrates, the entire legal fraternity and Anglican Church members over the bereavement.

Chief Justice Ibrahim Juma described Justice Ramadhani as a hard worker who loved his job. He noted that Mr Ramadhani was different from a species people who tended to change when they were appointed to high posts.

“I knew him as a humble person who conducted himself as an ordinary member of staff; something that made it easy for people to approach him whenever there was anything on which they sought his intervention; he did not manipulate his title as a basis for being bossy,” he further remarked.

Justice Juma said the deceased also loved the army, which he joined after graduating from college in 1970, rising to the rank of Brigadier General in the Tanzania People’s Defence Forces.

According to CJ Juma, he subsequently requested to retire from the army in order to devote his attention to the judiciary as well as avoid conflict of interest.

“This is a great tragedy for the nation as he is a man whose life touched the development of our country and worked in various fields,” he added.

Ramadhani a devoted Christian was in his 70s at the time of his passing. He died yesterday at 8:00 am at the Aga Khan Hospital in Dar es Salaam where he had been hospitalised.

He was a good pianist, he had been the Judge of the East African Court of Justice between 2001 and 2007.

Many lawyers described the former CJ as a role model in the timely and fair dispensation and administration of justice.

“He was corrupt free in the administration of justice in Tanzania. Justice Augustino significantly contributed in the law making process in arriving at fair and equitable decisions in form of precedents,” advocate Alex Balomi said.

More lawyers pointed out that the death was a huge loss to the nation, as the deceased was blessed with multidisciplinary professions which is very rare.

“He was the mentor and an administrator under his administration as the CJ. He significantly introduced developments and modernisation in the judicial system of this country,” one of members of the bar said.

The ex-CJ is remembered for handling several cases that attracted public interests, notably, the case petitioned by the late Christopher Mtikila on private candidacy during parliamentary and presidential elections.

The petition was determined in favour of the Attorney General by all seven Justices of appeal.

During his days while at the Court of Appeal, lawyers used to describe it as “Court of Appeal Number One” when Justice Augustino was sitting in one bench with former and first Chief Justice, the late Francis Nyalali as well as Justice Lewis Makame, who is also a deceased.

The late Ramadhani’s life had a unique history.

He is the only Tanzanian who served as Chief Justice of Zanzibar and the United Republic of Tanzania; the first Tanzanian to be the Judge of the African Court on Human and People’s Rights and the only Tanzanian to have served as President of such Continental Court.

He has also been the only Tanzanian to be Chief Justice and pastor; the only Tanzanian to be Chief Justice and Brigadier General with the army and the only Tanzanian to be endowed with many talents in different industries (jurist, basketballer, pianist, army officer and pastor).

Justice Ramadhani is the second child in the family of Mwalimu Mathew Douglas Ramadhani and his wife, Mwalimu Bridget Ana Constance Masoud.

He studied at Mpwapwa Primary School from 1952 to 1953 before moving to Town school in Tabora for Standard Three and Four from 1954 to 1956.

From 1957 to 1958, he attended KazeHil Primary School. He completed his primary school education at Mpwapwa in 1959 shortly after his father was returned to the school after being promoted to headmaster.

He joined secondary school in a popular school that was preparing young Tanganyika to take over the country’s leadership, “Tabora Boys” from 1960 to Sixth form in 1965.

While at the school, he learned many things, including piano playing and he inherited the talent of his grandfather, who also inherited his name, Augustino Ramadhani.

In addition, he learned basketball, which he played well because of his height. Afterwards, Augustino joined the University of Dar es Salaam to study law, becoming one of the first Tanzanians to study the unique field.

While in college, he joined TANU and became a member of the TANU Youth League in 1969 in the Temeke branch.

The ex-CJ graduated from the University in 1970, and in March 1970 joined the Tanzania People’s Defence Forces (JWTZ).

Despite being a Christian, Augustino married Mrs Saada Mbarouk, a Muslim, on November 1, 1975. The 1978 was a year of great success for Augustino.

Earlier in 1978, Zanzibar’s Second President, Alhaj Aboud Jumbe Mwinyi appointed him Deputy Attorney General of Zanzibar, as one of the island’s top officials.

In the same year, he obtained a postgraduate degree in International Law from the University of Dar es Salaam.

In March 1979, he was returned to the JWTZ and specifically presided over military courts. In January 1980, Augustino was sworn in as Chief Justice of Zanzibar, when he was lieutenant colonel.

He served in that position until 1989 whereupon on June 23, the Second President of the United Republic of Tanzania, Mr Ali Hassan Mwinyi appointed him Judge of the Court of Appeal of Tanzania.

Augustino withdrew from CCM membership in 1992 after a constitutional amendment prohibited judges and military staff from becoming members of political parties.

In 1997, he officially retired from JWTZ with the rank of Brigadier General and was awarded all military honors. In 1993, President Mwinyi nominated Augustino as Vice- Chairman of the National Electoral Commission (NEC).

He served in that position until 2003. Before completing the post, Augustino was appointed Judge of the East African Court in November 2001 and served until 2007.

During the same period, he was also appointed Vice- Chairman of the Electoral Commission, Zanzibar (ZEC) from 2002 to 2007.

While serving in that position, Augustino studied at the University of London in England where in 2004 he received a bachelor’s degree (Bachelor of Divinity).

After serving such posts, Augustino received a special honour when he was appointed by President Jakaya Kikwete as Chief Justice of Tanzania in 2007 and served in the post until December 27, 2010 after attaining the age of 65.

Augustino’s star in public and international services did not end there, as in 2010, he was appointed Judge of the African Court on Human and People’s Rights.

After retirement, he returned to CCM membership in September 2011 at the CCM Branch in Oyster bay.

On February 23, 2012, Augustino received the “Dr. Martin Luther King Award” from the US Ambassador Hon. Alfonso Lenhardt due to his distinguished service and becomes the 13th Tanzanian to receive the Award.

On April 7, 2012, President Kikwete appointed him Vice Chairman of the Constitutional Commission, and on December 28, he was ordained Pastor to the Anglican Church of the Diocese of Zanzibar.

On September 14, 2014, Augustino was elected President of the African Court on Human and People’s Rights and served in that capacity until he completed his term on September 3, 2016.

On June 15, 2015, he aspired for the Union presidency on a CCM ticket.

Author: DAILY NEWS Reporters

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