Judiciary saves 129m/- by conducting cases through video conferencing

31Jan 2020
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Judiciary saves 129m/- by conducting cases through video conferencing

THE Judiciary in Tanzania has saved 129m/- for conducting cases via ‘Video Conference’ arrangement.

Out of the amount, the Court of Appeal of Tanzania has saved 95m/- during October last year for conducting special court sessions via the networks whilst the Kisutu resident magistrate Court saved 34m/- for the whole period of last year.

Speaking to reporters recently on the celebrations to mark Law Education Week and Tanzania Annual Law Day, the Chief Justice Hon Ibrahim Hamisi Juma said last year the Court of Appeal conducted the sessions through video conferencing in Dar es Salaam, Mwanza, Mbeya, Tabora and Bukoba centres.

He said a total of 60 petitions were heard by 18 Justices of Appeal whereas every justice was assigned between two and six petitions.

“Total cost for the whole video conferencing exercise was 5m/- that included Internet service cost and transport for court officials who coordinated the exercise. The cost also included payment to private advocates in defense of the inmates jailed for murder,” said the Chief Justice.

He said if the Court had used normal procedures the cost would have amounted to 100m/-.

He explained that in video conferencing Judges remained in Dar es Salaam but were able to hear the petitions and later returned to their offices to continue with other duties.

The Chief Justice said the system has been connected to six centres of the High Court in Dar es Salaam, Mbeya, and Bukoba Zone including the training centre at Kisutu, Keko Remand Prison and the Institute of Judicial Administration Lushoto (IJA).

Statistics from Tanzania Judiciary’s Department of Communication and Information Technology (TEHAMA) show that in respect of Tanzania High Court, cases involving corruption and economic sabotage heard via video conferencing from July 2016 to July 8 last year totaled 375 out of which 371 judgments thereon were given.

At the same time, a report issued by the Administrator of Kisutu Resident Magistrate Court Kabunyanja said during the last year the Court conducted six cases including those on economic sabotage through video conferencing, whilst on five others witnesses thereof were outside the country.

Hence the cost incurred for all the six cases amounted to 1.4m/- whereas if the normal procedures had been used the cost would have come to 34m/-

Kabuyanja said the number of cases heard via the system between the Court and Keko Prison from January 13 last year to January 13 this year were 25.

Speaking about TEHAMA, the Chief Justice called upon the wananchi who will visit the Judiciary’s stalls during the Law Education Week for the opportunity to learn on how Tanzania’s judiciary is set to mete out justice in this century via video conferencing.

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