The Kadhi Court issue resurfaced in the House yesterday with the government maintaining its stance that it won’t form them, as promised by the ruling party, CCM, during the 2010 presidential campaigns.
Instead, the government advised Muslims to form the courts themselves outside the judiciary system, which is one of the three pillars of state, others being the executive and the Parliament.
Ole Member of Parliament (CUF) Rajab Mbarouk Mohammed set the motion, when he queried in a question, “We want to know why the government is hesitant to establish the courts while the same have been operating without problems in other countries like Malaysia, Kenya, South Africa and many others.”
The supplementary question, which was directed to the Ministry of Constitutional Affairs and Justice, forced Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda to leave his seat to clarify.
“I understand this issue touches feelings of religious believes. We have already formed a joint commission between the government and Muslims. We have already conducted several meetings. This is the matter that we’re working on,” he said, adding:
“We know, we still have a long way to go…we need to be very cautious…but we are sure we shall resolve it”.
In his basic question, Mohamed Habib Mnyaa (Mkanyageni, CUF) said the Islamic Law is being used in deciding inheritance matters under the Customary Law and the government is aware of it.
Responding, Constitutional Affairs and Justice minister Celina Kombani acknowledged that the government was aware of the said laws, including the Marriage Act which incorporates some of the Islamic Law.
However, she said interpretation of the laws was the duty of the Judiciary, as provided in the constitution. “It is the court alone which is mandated to give justice in this country,” she said.
She appealed to Muslims communities to set up the courts within their religious framework without making the government take charge of them.