19 July 2012

Tanzania: Jailed Mothers' Children to Be Taken Out of Prisons'

Dodoma — THE Ministry of Constitutional Affairs and Justice has revealed plans to remove children living with their incarcerated mothers from jails.

The Constitutional Affairs and Justice Deputy Minister, Ms Angela Kairuki, said whilst responding a supplementary question from Ms Faida Mohammed Bakar (Special Seats - CCM) that the government was aware of the problems.

"I personally visited the Isanga Prison here and saw with my own eyes five children living with their mothers. We are working with the Ministry of Home Affairs so that no child stays with their mother for more than two years," she stated.

Ms Kairuki said that she agreed with Ms Bakar that keeping children in the same cell with their mothers not only violated the child's basic human rights but also most importantly it passed on the sentence to the children.

In her other question, Ms Bakar inquired why many suspects languish in remand prison for long periods such as four years and whether there were plans by the government to compensate them.

Ms Kairuki said that it was true that there were people who were on remand for long periods and that there were a number of reasons for such a move.

She said that the government was being challenged by lack of adequate investigators, lack of offices for prosecution at primary, district and regional courts, lack of equipment and funding.

"One of the first initiatives we have tried to do to reduce these delays is to separate those investigating and prosecuting which has already bore fruits because in 2007 there were 2,055 cases that have been reduced to 170 to date," she said.

The deputy minister said that another tool of reducing the number of people being held in remand is out of court settlements if both parties can come together and sort out their differences.

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