Wanted: Domestic violence act, establishment of family courts

03Dec 2018
The Guardian Reporter
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
Wanted: Domestic violence act, establishment of family courts

WOMEN in Law and Development Africa (WiLDAF) has asked the country’s judicial system to support none state actors in a move to influence the parliament to enact the domestic violence act and also the establishment of family courts.

The call was made over the weekend by WiLDAF board member, advocate Nakazael Tenga during the moot court which was organised by the Association of women Judges (TAWJA) and WiLDAF  held at the  Law School premises in Dar es Salaam.

“We need a ‘stand-alone’ domestic violence act as the current Penal Code does not incorporate some forms of domestic violence and the treatment of victims of gender based violence,” said advocate Tenga.

She asked the judiciary to support them in their efforts to end gender based violence (GBV) by prioritising the establishment of family courts to speed up cases especially those related to GBV because justice delayed is justice denied.

She said during this sixteen days of activism they have a special team of practicing advocates in five regions, offering legal aid at work places to help women access  legal service in their workplaces,” she said.

This year’s sixteen days of activism against GBV was officially launched in Dodoma by Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa under the theme “Open Up, Her Safety My Responsibility.”

Tenga said the theme “Her safety my Responsibility” emphasizes on the role bestowed on everyone to protect everyone particularly women and girls against any form of violence adding that the theme focuses on how GBV occurs within the community, schools and workplaces.

Advocate Tenga said this year’s campaign raises awareness about the injustices of violence against women and girls by raising discussions and dialogues that is essential in paving the way for social transformation.

“Revealing the existence of sexual corruption and understanding how it occurs in both open and hidden ways is fundamental to creating a safer and equal world for women and girls,” she said.

On her side, retired judge from referral court, judge Eusebia Munuo said most rape cases fail because some doctors collaborate with accused persons to distort the evidence after they were bribed.

She said most accused persons in rape cases are not convicted due to poor evidence presented before the courts of law  and most of the time doctors collaborate with accused persons to destroy the evidence.

 “There is still corruption among doctors even in judicial system, some people are not ethical enough you may find a doctor writing false information purposely to defend someone who gave him bribe so it becomes very difficult to convict the accused,” she said.

Director of WiLDAF, Anna Kulaya, said sexual corruption especially to women in the country is still a big problem but there are challenges of evidence to prove the cases before the court.

 “Finding evidence in these cases is difficult because of the nature of the offence which is conducted secretly and sometimes you find accused persons are the big names and with authority so it becomes easy for them to destroy the evidence,” she said.

“We as a country must take measures to end this problem and special thanks should go to the University of Dar es Salaam’s lecturer Dr Vicensia Shule for speaking up about sexual corruption at the university.

She deserves to be commended …she is a lecturer there but she made it and we appeal to the authority to listen and take action on this matter,” she said.