Repoa report paints bright picture on Judiciary

THE level of satisfaction of users of the services provided by the Judiciary of Tanzania in various areas of justice in the country has jumped from 78 per cent in 2019 to 88 per cent in 2023.

This increase by 10 per cent was revealed on Tuesday by an independent and non-profit organisation- Research on Poverty Alleviation (REPOA), in its report submitted to the judiciary, concerning the survey they conducted regarding the satisfaction of users of Court services for the year 2023.

Executive Director of REPOA, Dr Donald Mmari and Director of Research and Training, Dr Lucas Katera handed over the report of their study to the Chief Registrar of the Judiciary of Tanzania, Mr Wilbert Chuma at a short event held at One Stop Centre for Family Affairs Temeke in Dar es Salaam.

Speaking after receiving the report, Mr Chuma said that the increase in the level of satisfaction of users of the Court’s services provided by the judiciary is a product of great improvements made in various areas in collaboration with stakeholders.

“This level shows increased responsibility, professionalism and transparency as well as availability of copies of judgments on time for the High Court and the Court of Appeal through the information system of laws and decisions of the Tanzanian Court (TanzLII), among other factors,” he said.

The Chief Registrar noted that the Judiciary of Tanzania is driven by its vision of providing equal justice to all and in time and in order to achieve such vision; it has been continuing to make various improvements to provide better services to citizens.

He said that the improvements made by the judiciary are being implemented through the Five-Year Strategic Plan, the first phase of which was for the period 2015/2016-2019/2020 and current second period from 2020/2021 – 2024/2025 with a view to increase the level of satisfaction of the citizens.

“In measuring the level of satisfaction of citizens, the judiciary has been conducting research through independent researcher REPOA. The aim of the research is to get the opinions of the citizens on their satisfaction with the services provided in order to identify successful and challenging areas that need to be improved in order to achieve the judiciary’s vision of equal rights for all and on time,” he said.

Mr Chuma noted that the first study was conducted in 2015, which showed that 61 per cent of Court’s services users were satisfied with the services provided and the report identified some areas that needed to be worked upon, where the judiciary took improvements measures to address.

He said that in 2019 another survey was conducted where the results showed that 78 per cent of citizens were satisfied with the services provided and the report identified many improvements that had been made such as the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), especially in conducting cases electronically and the establishment of a mobile court.

The Chief Registrar said that the study also identified areas that needed improvements such as infrastructure and the judiciary worked on challenging areas by taking various measures, including the strengthening of infrastructure accompanied by the construction of six (6) Integrated Justice Centres.

“Other steps are to build new District and Primary Courts, strengthen the use of ICT, establish a customer service centre, provide public education, strengthen the management and inspection of Court services by 98 per cent, provide free copies of judgments, reduce backlogs from 11 to 4 per cent and hire new employees,” he said.

Earlier, speaking at the event, the Chief Executive of REPOA noted that in general the results of the research show significant changes in judicial services.

He congratulated the judiciary for being attentive and listening to citizens and users of judicial services, a place where justice is equally available.

On his part, the Director of Research and Training of REPOA, when presenting a summary of the research, said that many people are satisfied with the judiciary’s services depending on how they are served and justice is provided regardless of the outcome of their cases.

“For example, if a person comes to court with certainty that he is a criminal, he is punished and he knows that he has committed a crime regardless of his position and influence, then he will be satisfied with the performance of the Court. Likewise, if a person comes to court and knows that he is innocent, he should have faith that he will acquitted, a situation that will make him be satisfied,” he said.

He has suggested several things to be done to meet the wishes of the people, including the expansion of infrastructure to cope with the increased demand, having an extensive use of mobile courts as an interim solution and improving the time taken to complete the case.

REPOA have also recommended inspection especially Lower Level Courts to countercheck ethical conducts of staff, provide them with education, especially on promotion criteria and awareness on promotion plans, increasing public awareness on means of communication as they are very effective, promote ICT use in communication and other court issues and making awareness of the presence of call centers to report court related issues.

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