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High speed case disposal shocks citizens

High speed case disposal shocks citizens

THE speed of disposal and hearing of cases by the Judiciary of Tanzania at various levels of courts across the country has impressed the citizens, while some are complaining against clearing back- logs.

This was revealed by the Chief Justice of Tanzania, Prof Ibrahim Juma at the final day of his working visit to the courts, Tanga Zone on Friday.

Addressing judicial officers of the Zone at the summary meeting, Prof Juma explained that in many areas the Tanzanian judiciary has done a wonderful job, particularly in clearing backlogs, to the extent that involved parties are now com- plaining about the current pace.

“The Registrar of the Court of Appeal has already received some complaints on that because those who used to lodge appeals and pack them knowing that after three years they will continue with their business as usual have begun to complain,” he said.

The Chief Justice added, “When someone was summoned, he complained completely and some sent me a message that there must be corruption, saying this motion is not normal, and why hearing dates were set within two weeks.

So, that is a great achievement, I urge you to continue at the same speed.”

Prof Juma advised the Tanga Zone on the part of the High Court to establish a mechanism for analysing cases and identifying those that could be heard at no cost, including cases for plea taking and other cases which do not involve many witnesses.

"The Zone should continue to use Magistrates with extended jurisdiction to hear the case. I promise you that the leadership of the Court's Headquarters will continue with efforts to raise more funds, so that the sessions scheduled according to your cal- endars are not affected,” he said.

Prof Juma said that during his visit he noted that the speed of hearing of cases at various levels of courts was good.

He urged all judicial officers to keep up the pace and ensure that they meet the criteria for the number of cases scheduled.

In addition, the Chief Justice explained that all court officials are responsible for strictly supervising the case proceedings and for preventing regular adjourn- ment of cases without any cogent reasons.

Similarly, the Chief Justice asked the Magistrates not to be quick to accept prosecutors' arguments that the investigation into a case was still ongoing without specifying what the investigation was still looking for and for how long.

According to the Chief Justice, since the Judiciary is the custodian of the right of everyone to be free and to live as a free person, it is the duty of the Court to grant bail for bailable offences.

"Criteria for granting bail include using national identity cards and recognised IDs, thus courts should allow accused to bail themselves when they are satisfied with their identity that they will appear in court.

Residential addresses and citizenship IDs should help to facilitate the release of bail,” he said.

Earlier, presenting a report on the implementation of the activities of the Court, Tanga Zone, Judge in Charge, Latifa Man- soor stated that as of December 2021, the High Court Registry remained with 493 cases and between January and May 12, 2022, about 246 cases were reg- istered.

Among the cases, 433 were decided and 306 are pending.

She said that as of May 12, 2022, the Registry of the High Court had a total of 21 backlog cases, of which four are criminal and all are scheduled to be heard in a session that began on May 16, 2022.

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Author: FAUSTINE KAPAMA

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