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Nchemba puts crooked State lawyers on notice

THE Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Dr Mwigulu Nchemba, has warned State lawyers who are colluding with opponents and creating loopholes for the government to lose cases, thus causing massive losses to the nation.

Dr Nchemba gave the warning in Dar es Salaam yesterday when speaking with the management of the office of the Solicitor General as part of his official visit to various departments under the ministry.

He pointed out that even government institutions which are engaged in similar malpractices, including hesitating to cooperate and provide sufficient details to the office so that the government is defeated, would also not be spared.

“This is pure economic sabotage. Tell them that there are no two sides when it comes to national interest. We have just one side, that is, to win the legal battle. I don’t want to hear that we have lost because of legal technicalities,” the minister told Solicitor General Gabriel Malata.

Dr Nchemba further told the management that the decision by President Dr John Magufuli, to establish the Solicitor General’s Office was not an accident and that the entire government has a lot of trust in the office as far as defending national interests are concerned.

According to him, economic warfare is not fought in the forest, but by using intelligence and the battlefield moves legally. He pointed out that State lawyers have, therefore, been entrusted with the responsibility of going forward.

“In the interest of our country we have only one side. It is our country and not otherwise. Let us stand firm and you must close all the loopholes. We must win in the economic war started by our President and protect all the interests of Tanzanians,” he said, adding: “We have been entrusted with the task of rescuing State properties, but we are colluding with the enemies. No way! Let us protect the property of Tanzanians jealously. We should be at the forefront of events and we should not be taken by surprise on national interest issues.”

The minister also directed the Solicitor General to identify all government institutions that have been hesitating to provide sufficient details that could enable preparations of strong defence in litigations or those creating loopholes for the government to be defeated.

“These are involved in the process of sabotaging government properties. They are economic saboteurs. Conduct self-assessment and take action. You can’t cause great loss to the government and then go freely just like that. This is not possible,” he said.

Dr Nchemba also promised to work on various challenges the office was facing, including shortage of working tools like computers, vehicles, manpower and having specialized skills in handling various litigations, in both local and foreign jurisdictions.

Earlier, the Solicitor General cited several achievements his office attained since its establishment about two years ago.

Among major achievements, he said, included saving over 11tril/- after winning several cases and litigations in various courts, locally and abroad.

Mr Malata also told the minister that his office also succeeded in defending the government in cases that involved seizure of two aircrafts in South Africa and Canada, establishment of an online system of haring cases through video conference and improvements of office infrastructure.

The Office of the Solicitor General was established on February 12, 2018, through Government Notice No. 50 with the aim of coordinating, managing and conducting all litigations relating to Constitution, elections and human rights filed against the government of the United Republic of Tanzania.

In 2018, the government published the Office of the Attorney General (Re-structure) Order, 2018 through GN No. 48 of 2018.

The restructuring was made with a view of enhancing and strengthening capacity to efficiently discharge duties under the office of the Attorney General, Director of Public Prosecutions, Solicitor General and Law Officers in ministries, independent Government departments and Local Government.

Prior to this Order, all civil and criminal litigations were under the direct control of the Attorney General.

A new office of the Solicitor General was established as a result of the restructuring. It is charged with supervision of civil litigation and arbitration proceedings

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