PRESIDENT Dr Samia Suluhu Hassan on Tuesday told the judiciary to put a close eye on the conduct of staff in courts in a quest to enhance justice delivery.
The Head of State was specific that more supervision should be at the lower-level courts, saying things were still not yet okay.
She made the statement when addressing newly-sworn in six Judges of the Court of Appeal and other leaders at the new Chamwino State House in Dodoma.
“We need a close eye on the lower-level courts, so that ordinary citizens can get their justice. Things are not going well at the grassroots level,” Dr Samia pointed out.
Building on her argument, she cited one of the scenarios in Lindi Region, where pastoralists publicly committed offences and were arrested, but the magistrate, who went to the scene declared them innocent.
The situation forced the Regional Commissioner to protest, something which brought commotion within the government.
“So, you would ask yourself what is happening, and this is just one case, how many of that kind happen at the lower level. Go and work fairly without hatred,” she said.
Speaking about the appointment of judges, she vowed that she would ensure gender parity in the number of judges appointed.
“We have many qualified women lawyers and they are better in the courts,” she said.
The six new Judges will now make it to nine the number of panels of Judges at the court tasked to handle cases of appeal; however, she promised the Chief Justice (CJ) Prof Ibrahim Juma that she will appoint more Judges.
“What impresses me is that some of you (newly sworn-in judges) are those I had previously promoted to the High Court judges and today you have been promoted to the appeal court. This shows that you are working hard,” she said.
Earlier, when welcoming the President, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa said the swearing in of the new Judges was meant to strengthen the judiciary.
Mr Majaliwa congratulated the new judges, while telling them that the Tanzanians have high expectations on them to deliver.
On her part, National Assembly Speaker Dr Tulia Ackson applauded the president for increasing the number of the Appeal Court female judges, noting that she approves the efforts of empowering women.
“When we look at the court, we (citizens) expect speedy ruling to get justice. If you are held back by certain laws please bring them to us for amendments,” he told the Judiciary.
In his speech, Chief Justice Prof Juma said the new six judges of the Appeal Court make the total number to 31 from 25.
“When the number of judges increases, the time to conclude cases also reduces, hence increasing trust among the citizens over justice delivery,” he argued.
However, he said, despite the increased number they need to rethink and come up with more effective approaches to handle more cases.
He reminded the new judges to embrace the time limit of 90 days to issue ruling on cases of appeal so as to avoid complaints from the public.