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From MARC NKWAME in Arusha, 1st August 2010 @ 12:00, Total Comments: 0, Hits: 70

AS Mr Jakaya Kikwete winds up his first five years in office, Chief Justice Augustino Ramadhan has hailed the president’s efforts in improving the country’s judiciary system.

The Chief Justice said here at the weekend that he has also been telling Regional and District Commissioners that it was their duty to look after subordinate court buildings in their areas just as they normally do for primary schools, dispensaries and police posts.

“With a stroke of the pen, President Kikwete doubled the salaries, not only of the judges who are covered by the ‘Judges Remuneration and Terminal Benefits’ Act of 2007, but also of all magistrates in various grades,” said the Chief Justice.

He explained that normally people in the judiciary profession never demand high pay no matter how small that may be and usually choose to suffer in silence.

“I have enjoyed an excellent working relationship with the president. In three years he has given me 31 new judges of the High Court and seven Justices of Appeal,” he said, adding that steps were underway to establish a fund for the judiciary in the next financial year 2011-2012.

“The negotiations will be on how much is to be contributed into the fund; I ask for at least 2 per cent of the national budget which will be more than four times our current authorised budget. At the moment we are given less than 0.5 per cent of the budget,” he said.

The Chief Justice explained that the Judiciary in Tanzania is convinced ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ that to solve marginalisation of judges the executives must be asked to pass a legislation providing for salaries and a number of benefits including a house servant for every judge and allowances for amenities like water.

In the case of Tanzania, according to Chief Justice, the executive responded positively and enacted the ‘Judges Remuneration and Terminal Benefits Act number 6 of 2007.’

“I have also asked them to provide houses for the magistrates,” said Justice Ramadhan.

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