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JPM death: Shock, disbelief strike legal fraternity

CHIEF Justice (CJ), Prof Ibrahim Juma and several lawyers in the legal fraternity expressed their shock and disbelief on an untimely death of the President Dr John Magufuli on 17th this month.

Prof Juma explained that Judiciary’s management and all its staff join Tanzanians in mourning the tragedy that has befallen on nation, adding that following the tragedy, the Judiciary of Tanzania extends its condolences to the President, Mama Samia Suluhu Hassan, and all government officials.

“President Magufuli will be remembered for his contribution to the Judiciary, including strengthening the Judiciary’s infrastructure and the fight against corruption by facilitating the establishment of the Economic, Corruption and Organised Crime Division of the High Court of Tanzania,” he said.

On his part, long serving advocate Michael Ngalo said the death of President Magufuli was a big loss to the whole nation, saying: “I received the news of the untimely death of President Magufuli with total disbelief because in his last public appearances he didn’t look sick. Rather he looked energetic and jovial as he always did in public past gatherings.”

Elaborating, Mr Ngalo distinguishes Dr Magufuli from the rest of the other leaders due to his bravery, daring, openness, honesty, strictness and God fearing attitudes, adding that he was a no-nonsense leader when it came to performance of his duties, and that has left a legacy of his own in the history of the country.

According to him, being in the legal profession he was aware of President Magufuli’s role and what he contributed to the legal sector in the country.

“He supported and made sure that the courts’ working conditions and infrastructure were improved and also approved funds to implement and achieve the improvements. He appointed a good number of judges in efforts to ensure that the judiciary was well staffed,” the lawyer said.

Advocate Ngalo described Dr Magufuli as a person, who was always touched by injustice, especially the ones he received as complaints from members of the public, adding that he had to get their instant solutions. Former Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Mr Augustine Shio, expressed almost similar position, but still wondered how this country would move forward after President Magufuli.

Mr Shio, who is currently an Advocate of the High Court, eulogized Dr Magufuli as a man who took the country from the lowest place to the high position and that is why Tanzania reached the middle class income.

“It is true that everyone will leave this world, but for our President, even if I look at his 61-year-old age, it was still a working age. There are several development projects he had set up, notably the SGR and Julius Nyerere Hydropower Station, also called Rufiji Hydroelectric Power Station,” he said.

He, thus, went on asking where another person like this leader will come from to extend the initiatives he had established and to fulfill his dreams. This is because, he said, President Magufuli was a slightly different person; he was thinking big things and was implementing them very fast.

“I appreciate his performance and how he was running the country. Now I wonder who among the leaders is going to continue with his speed on these unfinished projects. There is a lot of money that has been invested. But let us remain united and pray for his successor and I believe we will succeed,” he said.

Another seasoned lawyer Hudson Ndusyepo said that most Tanzanians had seen President Magufuli as a unique leader, adding: “The news of his death really shocked us as Tanzanians, because we had put ourselves in the position that he will not die unless he completed his work and fulfilled promises to the nation,” he said.

On his part, another long serving member of the bar, Mr Cuthbert Tenga, said that Tanzanians will remember him as a leader who was making decisions and was implementing them without fearing or favouring anybody.

“Decisions are crucial in leadership and you make decisions and implement them. Our president supervised his decisions and cleared the government machinery. He was able to control the government and shown us that it is possible for a leader to run the government if he wants to,” he said.

As far as justice is concerned, the Advocate pointed out that Dr Magufiuli showed that real justice needs a true independent judiciary for the country to dispense justice and give the people hope that their problems will be heard and resolved without any external interference.

Upcoming youthful lawyer Jonathan Mbuga said that he would remember President Magufuli for supporting the Judiciary in ensuring that it perfumed its obligations as per the constitution effectively. According to him, he made appointment of judges of youth age, who have improved efficiency.

He pointed out further that Dr Magufuli created a system of accountability to all public servants, which also extended to all judicial officers, with judges and magistrate inclusive. The lawyer explained that the former head of state also played a great role in improvement of infrastructure in the Judiciary.

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