What Samia legal aid campaign seeks to attain

THE Ministry of Constitution and Legal Affairs has launched Mama Samia Legal Aid campaign with the aim of providing legal aid to the public throughout the country for three years.

In the campaign, the ministry will educate the public on the rights to protect human rights, respect and dignity.

The campaign will also strengthen access to rights of the public and the provision of legal aid in increasing legal understanding and human rights in the community, especially the rights of women and children.

Launching the campaign in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday, the Minister for Constitution and Legal Affairs,  Dr  Damas Ndumbaro noted that the slogan of the campaign should be “Unite with Mama Samia to oppose cruelty, respect the dignity of your fellow, protect your neighbour’s child; Let’s build a country with dignity, honour and peace”.

Dr Ndumbaro said that the campaign will be carried out in Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar and implemented in three phases for a period of three years till December 2026.

The minister pointed out that the campaign will help to deal with traditions and customs, which conflict with the laws of the country, so that society understands and respects their traditions.

It will also focus on strengthening the legal advice service for victims and survivors of sexual violence.

He said the campaign will help to increase public awareness on legal education for the public, issues of human rights and responsibilities and the basics of good governance as well as involving other important matters that affect society in the entire justice system.

“The issues that will be addressed are the management of inheritance and legacy, land law and the right to own property, conflicts’ resolutions by alternative means, especially for the leaders of local governments, ward executives, villages, members of land councils, traditional elders and famous elders as well as religious leaders,” said Dr Ngumbaro.

He said the campaign is a constitutional and legal entity and has been named after the efforts of President Samia Suluhu Hassan to focus on human rights, the rule of law, obedience to the law and constitutional as well as legal education for the public.

“The president has been stressing that the presence of good laws alone is not enough, but the citizens also need to be educated about the laws of the country, so that they should know their rights and responsibilities. She has been expressing her concerns about the acts of cruelty done to children and women in our communities,” Dr Ndumbaro quoted

He said by establishing and recognising a cadre of legal assistants, there have been legal achievements in providing justice, where from 2017 to date, a total of  4790 legal assistants were trained and 1073 registered and licensed in mainland Tanzania, while in Zanzibar, they trained 370 legal assistants and 258 were registered and licensed.

Dr Ndumbaro said 3.2 million people were given legal and human rights education in the country within six months, while 42,000 were given legal aid for six months.

On her part, The Tanzania Women’s Lawyers Association (TAWLA) Executive Director, Tike Mwambipile commended the launching of the campaign and said that they have been providing the service due to the fact that many women and children are facing legal problems.

She said due to financial challenges victims have not been receiving proper services for many lawyers and instead have been charging high costs to support legal challenges.

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