TANZANIA: THE government’s effort to improve the infrastructure for the efficient delivery of justice received further impetus in 2023.
Though the year has just ended, it will still remain on the event calendar for the judiciary, particularly in terms of judicial infrastructure development.
The year saw the Court of Tanzania signing contracts worth 49bn/- with four companies for the construction of six Integrated Justice Centres (IJCs) in the regions of Songea, Katavi, Geita, Njombe, Simiyu and Songwe.
The signing event which took place at the Integrated Centre for Family Matters Temeke in Dar es Salaam in November 2023 was officiated by the Chief Court Administrator, Prof Elisante Ole Gabriel, who was the guest of honour.
Various leaders of the judiciary, including Dr Angelo Rumisha, the Head of the Delivery Unit (JDU) and Judge of the High Court of Tanzania, as well as Mr Victor Kategele, the Court of Appeal Administrator, witnessed the signing.
The Chief Court Administrator signed the six contracts on behalf of the Judiciary, while officials from the four construction companies, both local and foreign, signed for their respective firms. They were witnessed by Directors and Heads of Department of the Judiciary of Tanzania.
Speaking after the signing of the contracts, Prof Ole Gabriel directed the contractors and consultants to consider the time frame and agreed-upon terms when carrying out the construction of the buildings. He emphasised the importance of completing the work within the specified nine-month period and maintaining the required quality.
“We do not want any extensions, variations in costs, or delays. We expect you, contractors and consultants, to manage your work within this timeframe,” he said.
Prof Ole Gabriel stressed the significance of completing the project on time as Tanzanians are eagerly awaiting services from the new buildings in six regions at the High Court level. He expressed confidence that the contractors would fulfill their responsibilities and adhere to the required standards and quality.
He reminded the contractors that the implementation of the contracts is closely monitored by various stakeholders and leaders, including the President of Tanzania, Dr Samia Suluhu Hassan, and the Chief Justice of Tanzania, Prof Ibrahim Hamis Juma.
“We will not hesitate to take action against any contractor, consultant, or judiciary employee who obstructs our goals. The World Bank, which has provided a soft loan for this project, is also monitoring the progress,” the Chief Court Administrator said.
Prof Ole Gabriel cautioned the contractors against entering into subcontracts without consulting the Judiciary of Tanzania and obtaining written consent. He also advised those interested in signing additional contracts with the contractors to proceed with caution to avoid potential challenges.
He expressed gratitude to the Government, particularly the Ministry of Finance under Minister Dr Mwigulu Nchemba, for waiving value-added taxes on the project costs. He specifically thanked former Secretary General Emanuel Tutuba and later Natu Mwamba, the Permanent Secretaries of the Ministry, for their agreement.
The Chief Court Administrator urged all the contractors to introduce themselves to the regional leaders at their respective work sites. He emphasised the importance of building relationships and ensuring that the contractors are not seen as strangers, as they will be providing justice services close to the people.
Likewise, he called on the citizens in the project areas to cooperate fully with the contractors and avoid any acts of vandalism during the implementation of the projects.
During the event, the Head of the Delivery Unit of the Judiciary of Tanzania explained that a total of 14 Integrated Justice Centres would be built. However, the contracts signed on that day were specifically for six centres.
Judge Rumisha stated that the contractor selection process was rigorous, with a total of 142 bids received. After careful consideration, four contractors were chosen.
The contractors and the regions where the projects will be executed are as follows: M/S Azhar Construction Company Limited (Songea and Katavi), M/S Shandong Hi-Speed Dejian Group Co. Ltd (Geita and Njombe), M/S Riha Company Limited (Simiyu), and M/S Home Africa Investment Company Limited (Songwe).
“This process was not easy, and we needed to ensure that the judiciary was working with capable and reliable individuals who could complete the work efficiently,” he said, expressing gratitude to the Director of the Procurement Management Unit and his team for their excellent work.
The Head of the Delivery Unit stated that the signing of the contracts marked the conclusion of two years of work. Despite the limited time available, the employees worked tirelessly day and night to ensure the success of the project.
He took the opportunity to express appreciation to the Judiciary leadership, including Chief Justice Prof Ibrahim Hamis Juma, Principal Judge of the High Court of Tanzania Mr Mustapher Mohamed Siyani, Chief Court Administrator Prof Elisante Ole Gabriel, and all others who provided support.
The construction of these Centres will bring the total number of Integrated Justice Centres in Tanzania to 12. Currently, there are six centres providing judicial services in the regions of Dar es Salaam, Mwanza, Dodoma, Arusha and Morogoro.