Anniversary: Human rights key issue at Dar symposium

09Dec 2021
Rose Mwalongo
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
Anniversary: Human rights key issue at Dar symposium
  • Justice should be done even if heaven is to fall, law don underlines

​​​​​​​SENIOR legal practitioners and human rights activists overly engaged in a wide ranging assessment of Tanzania’s current efforts to become a just society for all, underlining that more needs to be done.

Legal Practitioners and human rights activists during a National Dialogue on the State of Human Rights in Tanzania 60 years down the road. The dialogue was organised by the THRDC in collaboration with the Ministry of Constitutional and Legal Affairs.

A city public dialogue on the state of human rights protection in Tanzania across the six decades of independence yesterday saw speakers, including retired judges faulting the law-making process.

They criticised its frequent use of certificates of urgency, saying it was non-inclusive and has seen some of the laws violate fundamental principles of human rights, on which Judge (rtd) Mathew Mwaimu, the chairman of the Commission on Human Rights and Good Governance (CHRAGG) said this is one area where governance leaves much to be desired

He said that violation of human rights starts with abuse of power, where leaders don’t adhere to principles of good governance. “Most laws are enacted under the certificate of urgency where stakeholders are not given ample time to provide their views and as a result some of the regulations override the laws in place,” he explained.

The retired judge appealed to the legislature to ensure that the law making process is inclusive, thus capable of serving the public interest and ensure equity when it is applied.

Prof. John Ruhangisa, a former Registrar at the East African Court of Justice (EACJ) raised concern over the temperature in the judiciary, saying it has been sporadic and unpredictable when it comes to human rights.

“Interpretation of human rights clauses requires generous interpretation. Our courts have remained positive and conservative. There is no justification for judges maintaining conservatism. They should change or else people will have nowhere to go if courts fail to do what they are supposed to do,” the retired law don asserted.

“The legal profession requires someone who is sensitive and committed, not just anyone, adhering to the principle that justice should be done even if heaven is to fall,” he added.

The one day dialogue was organized by the Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition in collaboration with the Ministry of Constitution and Legal Affairs.

 The session brought together human rights activists from the judiciary, higher learning institutions, retired judges, development partners,  the media, CSOs and religious leaders from all over the United Republic of Tanzania.

                       

The session came ahead of the 60 commemoration of Tanganyika independence marked nationwide today