Govt turns to mobile courts in effort to reduce ever-piling cases

13May 2022
Polycarp Machira
The Guardian
Govt turns to mobile courts in effort to reduce ever-piling cases

THE government plans to provide mobile courts in all district councils in the country in effort to reduce the ever piling cases in courts, it has been revealed.

Prime Minister, Kassim Majaliwa.

Prime Minister, Kassim Majaliwa made the revelations in the Parliament yesterday, adding that the government acknowledges the challenge of delay in case ruling on cases, especially in rural areas.

He made the statement during the impromptu question and answers to the prime minister session, noting that the plan is to make it easier for those in marginalized areas to be reached.

The premier was responding to a question raised by the Special Seats MP, Zuena Athuman (CCM) who had wanted to know what the government was doing to help reduce piling of cases and delay to make ruling in courts across the country.

“Does the government have plans to increase the number of mobile courts in the country to help reduce if not end case delays in courts?” she asked.

 In response, the PM explained that the judiciary has made in place plans to increase the number of mobile courts in the country in the 2022/2023 financial as outlined in the Ministry of Constitutional and Legal Affairs ministerial budget yet to be tabled in the Parliament.

“Use of mobile courts has proven to be one of the best ways of reducing cases in courts, and the government has resorted to expand the service,” said the PM, adding that this must be in the 2022/2023 ministerial budget.

The government unveiled the first two mobile courts worth over Sh470 million in February, 2019  and scheduled to operate in Dar es Salaam and Mwanza regions.

Financed by World Bank, the mobile courts were launched in Dar es Salaam at the Julius Nyerere International Conference Centre during the climax of the Law Day, 2019.

The new mobile courts were to be utilized to receive and preside over several cases at the primary level, noting that 177,614 cases were filed at primary courts all over the country in the previous year.

The number was equivalent to 68 per cent. Even the mobile courts will also be used in operations against illegal fishing and delivering education to the public.

"The court that is equipped with modern equipment will start operations in Dar es Salaam and Mwanza, which have many cases due to rapid economic development and an inadequate number of primary courts," Eva Nkya, director of cases management at the Judiciary said.

According to her, Dar es Salaam and Mwanza have been chosen due to the population, augmented economic activities and the inadequate number of primary courts in the regions.

Speaking during the launch, Chief Justice Prof Ibrahim Juma said the just launched mobile courts will operate in Dar es Salaam and Mwanza regions.

“The vehicle will provide judicial services especially in fishing zone where illegal fishing is alarming,” he said.

For more than one year now, the ministry has been conducting crackdown operations against illegal fishing by arresting those engaged in the prohibited practices.

The operation has been carried out in the Indian Ocean, Lake Victoria, Lake Tanganyika, Mtwara Dam as well as Nyumba ya Mungu dam, where different suspects were arrested including 11 councillors.