CHIEF Justice Prof Ibrahim Juma has directed all judicial officers to change their behavior and attitudes and make good use of the modern equipment installed in new buildings built by the Judiciary of Tanzania in various parts of the country.
According to a statement issued by the Judiciary’s Directorate of Information and Communications, Prof Juma gave the directive recently while inaugurating a High Court Building, Shinyanga Zone, in Shinyanga Region.
The Head of the Judiciary pointed out that the Court was not only about good buildings, but also good services to the people. He, therefore, directed all judicial officers to stop unethical behaviour when performing their duties.
"The major improvements we have made through the strategic plan, the improvement programme and greater investment in ICT will not improve justice services if officials at all levels of the Judiciary will not have a positive attitude to respect and value those who come to court seeking justice," Prof Juma said.
He pointed out that the strength and capacity of the Judiciary largely depends on the public's confidence in that key pillar of state and that the current concept leading to the construction of judicial buildings is to build Integrated Justice Centres in order to provide more than one level of judicial services to wananchi.
This means, the people would be able to get all judicial services at all levels in one building, he emphasized. According to the Chief Justice, the improvements would be sustainable if all staff members would understand and be familiar with where the Judiciary is headed to.
"I urge the staff members of the Judiciary to implement the concept of ownership of improvements and we will succeed if every employee will follow its implementation and understand and be ready to explain to the public, stakeholders and even to the Government and Parliament Pillars" he stressed.
He said improvements to the infrastructure of court buildings are aimed at ensuring citizens have access to justice services in quality buildings with adequate equipment and reduce citizens' long distances when seeking judicial services.
The Chief Justice commended the people of Shinyanga Region for being given a priority to have High Court judicial services as Morogoro, Coast Region, Singida, Manyara, Njombe, Geita, Katavi, Lindi, Simiyu and Songwe regions are still eagerly waiting to have the buildings.
Apart from having High Court services, Prof Juma revealed that the people of Shinyanga Region, through the inaugurated building would also have Court of Appeal judicial services. Through GN No. 579 of July 24, 2020, Shinyanga High Court building has been declared Sub-Registry of the Court of Appeal.
He clarified that the Court of Appeal will hold its first session in Shinyanga from August 10 to 28, 2020 to hear a total of 29 cases. Every year, the Court of Appeal will have sessions in Shinyanga Region.
Meanwhile, retired Chief Justice of Tanzania, Mr Mohamed Chande Othman, commended the Judiciary of Tanzania for designing and developing a strategy for the construction of high quality court buildings.
On her part, the Shinyanga Regional Commissioner, Ms Zainab Telack, commended the Tanzanian Judiciary for moving justice services closer to the people. She said the role of the Judiciary and the government was to provide better services to the people so that they could be happy and be in peace.
The Principal Judge of the High Court of Tanzania, Dr Eliezer Feleshi, who was also in attendance, said that the Judiciary of Tanzania was well organised as any other pillars of the state as far as the October General Elections are concerned.
"The court will stand in its position in the General Election," he said.
Chief Court Registrar Wilbert Chuma called on judicial staff and stakeholders to protect and maintain the judiciary’s reforms including the buildings as well as the use of ICT. He urged them to observe justice and to carry out their duties with integrity and diligently.
On his part, Chief Court Administrator of the Judiciary of Tanzania, Mr Mathias Kabunduguru, commended his predecessors for their creativity and good management of court building projects including the inaugurated Shinyanga Regional Building.
Referring to the construction costs of the building in question, the Court Administrator of the High Court of Tanzania, Mr Leonard Magacha, explained that the construction of the building has cost more than 3.9bn/-, which is local currency.