2 January 2013

Tanzania: Meagre Budget Delays Case Hearing

Zanzibar — INSUFFICIENT budgets for the Judiciary are to blame for delays in court cases hearing, the Registrar of the Zanzibar High Court, Mr George Kazi, has said.

"We have problems involving shortage of funds especially when we want to enable witnesses to attend cases. Some witnesses cannot afford to pay their fare to and from courts of law.

"This is a challenge in the hearing of cases and sometimes magistrates are prompted to dismiss cases," said Kazi. The registrar was responding to public concerns that many police officers and magistrates are not interested in handling cases related to violence against children and women.

Lawyers and police officers, allegedly for refusing to investigate complaints from victims who report rapes, and the rare prosecutions that reach courts of law drag on for years.

But Mr Kazi said that lack of knowledge among members of the public and shortage of skilled health practitioners who handle violence cases including rape, have been also a problem in cases brought in Court. Gender violence activists, the police, and the ministry responsible for Children and Women's welfare admit that despite campaigns against such abuses many children and women remain vulnerable.

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