29 December 2012

Tanzania: Rukwa Inmates Send Their Views to CRC

Sumbawanga — INMATES of Molo prison farm in Sumbawanga have requested Rukwa Regional Commissioner, Ms Stella Manyanya to assist them in delivering their views to the Constitution Review Commission (CRC).

The inmates expressed concern that the CRC team visited the region but did not meet them. Molo prison is located 17 kilometres away from Sumbawanga town.

The team was in the region recently collecting people's views on the constitution. The Regional Commissioner said that the views of the inmates include the suggestion that all courts in the country should write judgments in Kiswahili, as most of them have their appeals at High Court nullified simply because they are not competent in the English language.

They also complained that all lower courts including primary courts hear cases in Kiswahili but judgments are written in English. The inmates, according to the Regional Commissioner, claimed that some of the appeal documents are not accurately written, and subsequently leading them to losing case.

Ms Manyanya told the 'Daily News on Saturday' during an exclusive interview held at her office here in the municipality yesterday that the inmates requested that she assist in submitting their views to the Constitution Review Commission .

According to the Regional Commissioner who doubles as the Chairperson for Security and Defence Regional Committee, the inmates aired their views freely when she visited them when she lunched with the prisoners as part of Christmas festivities.

The Regional Commissioner further explained that the inmates queried if Kiswahili is really regarded as the national language which has played a noble role of uniting the Tanzanians considering the fact that courts from Primary to the High Court in the country use English in writing out judgments.

Ms Manyanya said "Each individual has rights but it is inappropriate for such rights to be impeded by language barriers." She added that the inmates suggest that all laws of the land in the country should be written in Kiswahili so that each one of us can understand them and abide by them.

In the same vein a few youthful inmates who are serving long term imprisonment ranging between 20 and 30 years urge the State to provide them with financial capital after finishing their jail terms in a bid to start their lives afresh.

According to them , the experience has shown that most of them once free are penniless, without cash to start a new life and are enticed to get involved in criminal activities, and eventually end up in prison all over again.

Ms Manyanya explained that all of the inmates she met at Molo prison confessed that they have changed their evil ways. The inmates claimed that, after completing their jail terms most of them find out that their relatives have taken all their property including houses leaving them bankrupt.

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