Thirty-four judicial officers, including magistrates from different levels have been sacked for misconduct, the Chief Justice (CJ), Mr Mohamed Chande Othman, announced in Dar es Salaam yesterday.
He told a news conference that sacked officers include 11 magistrates from the resident magistrate to primary court magistrate level, while others were ordinary officers serving in different capacities within the judiciary.
Justice Othman said he had reached such decision after receiving two different reports on acceleration of cases from the primary court to the Court of Appeal presented by High Court Registrar Ilvin Mgeta and Court of Appeal Registrar John Kahyoza respectively.
The head of the judiciary further pointed out that the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) was also considering the fate of about 28 to 34 other magistrates who were acquitted of corruption cases.
“We have also filed disciplinary complaints of 34 other magistrates before the Disciplinary Committee headed by the Principal Judge. These magistrates were previously charged with criminal offences - but they won their cases,” he explained.
The CJ pointed out that though the number of officers sacked could be seen as small compared to the total number of about 6,406 of total employees within the judiciary, they were committed to ensure they weed out all irresponsible persons within the institution to protect its good image.
Among reasons behind the disciplinary measures taken against the officers include using court seals for personal benefit against the law and procedure, helping individuals to open cases in two different courts, which amounts to abuse of court process and judicial mischief.
The CJ also explained that advocates, who are also essential partners in the administration of justice, have not been spared either - as the Advocates Disciplinary Committee, headed by a High Court judge, was scrutinising 88 cases filed by different people against such members of the bar. “We have directed the committee to fast-track the hearing of cases to ensure justice is done on time.
It sat in March and June to discuss the matter.
Hopefully, such complaints will be determined and as soon as possible,” he stressed. The report presented by the Registrar of the High Court on progress of cases from the primary court to the high court level shows that the achievement has reached 100 per cent.
Registrar Mgetta pointed out that at the end of last year; they inherited a total of 66,448 unresolved cases.
Between January and August, this year, he said, about 167,855 cases were opened countrywide, while 197,794 cases have been disposed off within the same period, while only 55,711 cases were still pending. Regarding the Court of Appeal records, Registrar Kahyoza disclosed that cases inherited from last year were 2,378.
Referral cases opened between January and August, this year, were 980, while those determined to finality were 957 cases, which is about 97 per cent of the work successfully accomplished.