Author: FAUSTINE KAPAMA
AfricaPress-Tanzania: THE Principal Judge, Dr Eliezer Feleshi, has directed judicial officers to change their practices and behaviour, which violate code of conduct and ethics of the Public Service, warning that those found engaging in graft will be punished.
Dr Feleshi gave such warning when inaugurating a new state of the art building, which houses the Simiyu Resident Magistrate’s Court and Bariadi District Court in Simiyu Region recently.
According to a statement issued by the Directorate of Information and Communication of the Judiciary of Tanzania, the principal judge pointed out that availability of good judicial services provided to the people should reflect the beauty of court buildings currently under construction.
“I urge all officials to make sure that all judicial staff should provide good services that are in line with the beauty of the premises. Avoid using abusive language to our clients, who are citizens and stakeholders. We should refrain from corrupt practices as corruption is an enemy of justice,” he said.
The principal judge further warned that the Judiciary of Tanzania would not hesitate to take strict disciplinary and legal action against any employee who would be known to engage in corrupt practices.
He called on Regional and District Commissioners through the Judiciary Ethics committees to educate the public to use the committees to file complaints of inappropriate conduct to some unethical magistrates when fulfilling their basic duties of delivery of justice.
The principal judge said that the presence of the Simiyu Resident Magistrate’s Court was not only affordable but also beneficial to the people of Simiyu as they had previously been travelling 140 kilometres to Shinyanga to pursue judicial services.
He said the long distances affected them by spending too much time in pursuit of justice, while others were frustrated by failing to afford the subsistence costs of going to Shinyanga Region.
According to him, one of the strategies laid down by the Judiciary was to ensure that a court is built where each new administrative area is created as judicial services are as important as the other public services.
The newly inaugurated Simiyu Resident Magistrate’s Court building is in modern form and most of the judicial functions will utilize Information and Communication Technology (ICT) systems after being integrated with the National Communication Corridor to facilitate such services.
Such building also houses the Resident Magistrate’s Courts, the District Courts as well as stakeholder offices for Prosecutors, Social Welfare and Independent Advocates, who have all been provided with office rooms.
Meanwhile, the Principal Judge has asked the Regional Commissioners to provide Prisons in their regions with ICT equipment to support the efforts of the Judiciary of Tanzania to hear cases through Video Conference.
Dr Feleshi said that the Judiciary has already set up ICT systems in various regions of the country for Video Conferencing and such exercise would be easier if such stakeholders would empower the Prisons.
“While the Judiciary has tried as much as possible to send ICT equipment to some prisons, the Court now cannot afford because we did not have a budget. Our stakeholders should support us by enabling the Prisons to have these facilities,” Dr Feleshi said.
He pointed out that Prisons were facing a budget challenge to purchase such equipment as well as other working tools such as vehicles for transporting remand prisoners and inmates to court for appeals.
The principal judge added that some of the stakeholders, citing Mbeya Regional Commissioner, had already delivered ICT equipment to Prisons.