VICE-PPRESIDENT Dr Philip Mpango on Wednesday directed the Judiciary to continue making more improvements to reduce bureaucracy and costs of managing cases, especially the civil ones, so that the citizens could easily access justice services.
In his address, he noted that the high costs of conducting cases sometimes increase due to delays, adding: “There are still other areas that should be worked on; those areas include the high costs of conducting cases. It is important to look at how to reduce those costs to give relief to the people.”
Dr Mpango made the remarks when opening a meeting for Evaluation of Performance and Review of the First Half of the Judiciary Strategic Plan (2020/2021-2024/2025) in Mwanza on Wednesday.
He said that President Samia Suluhu Hassan has made it possible to obtain a World Bank loan for the Judiciary to make improvements in the performance of its functions in the country.
However, Dr Mpango said that there are still some complaints made by the public regarding the existence of corrupt practices by some Court officials, thus he appealed to the Judiciary to work on the feelings of the people and to plug all loopholes and indicators of corruption practices.
The Vice-President said that the government will continue to increase the Judiciary’s budget to enable the pillar of state to carry out its duties effectively, considering its importance in providing justice to the people.
“Similarly, President Samia has continued to appoint Judges to reduce the shortage of Judges and also appointed a commission to look at how to improve criminal justice institutions in the country, including the Judiciary, to go through the system and make recommendations to improve the performance of all relevant institutions,” he said.
He has assured the Chief Justice of Tanzania, Prof Ibrahim Juma that the government will continue to support the Judiciary to ensure that the entire chain of providing justice to the people is strengthened and more productive.
The Vice-President congratulated the Judiciary of Tanzania for making major operational reforms under the First Strategic Plan (2014/2015-2019/2020) and the Second Strategic Plan that will end in 2025.
He said that the reforms and the improvements made have greatly increased the efficiency in serving the people.
Likewise, Dr Mpango congratulated the Committees that advise the Chief Justice for good performance they are doing to align challenges, advise, recommend improvements and monitor their implementation.
“It is my belief that these committees will continue to be used properly to bring about the intended changes. I would like to advise you to ensure that the reforms that are taking place are sustainable,” emphasised the Vice-President.
Speaking before welcoming the Vice-President to open the meeting, the Chief Justice encouraged judicial employees not to evaluate themselves by counting the number of completed cases, but to evaluate the performance of justice based on the criteria as per Article 107A (2) of the Constitution.
“When we evaluate our services, it is good to consider the constitutional requirement, that is to consider the law when listening and giving decisions; doing justice to all regardless of a person’s social or economic status; not to delay justice without a fundamental reason, to promote and develop arbitration between those involved in conflicts and to do justice without being bound by technicalities,” he said.
The Chief Justice said that the expectation of the people is to get good services without feelings or indicators of corruption. He, thus directed all employees and leaders of the Judiciary to evaluate the reality, loopholes, openings, indicators and perception of corruption.
In the three-day session, various topics will be presented to enable judicial officials to evaluate and recommend areas where justice services need to be improved to enable citizens to get better services.
Meanwhile, Dr Mpango has urged parents and guardians to intensify children monitoring and surveillance.
He said this will significantly help for better upbringing and to curb immorality, which is the challenge to social security and national development at large.
Dr Mpango insisted parents to closely scrutinise their children’s school progress and when they are at home, he said it was imperative for the parents/guardians to know who their children are interacting with and what they follow on TV and their mobile phones.
He said that the perpetrators of same sex relationship agenda were using different vehicles of communications including television programmes.
He said collective measures are critical from parents, religious leaders and government leaders to uproot the emerging moral decay that if go unabated, the future of citizens including youths and children and the country at large will end up in vain as immorality will reign to devils like living community.