Arusha — WOMEN judges from all over the world, who are gathering in Arusha, have presented a special Human Rights Award to President Jakaya Kikwete, on the latter's staunch stand in advocating equality in the country's legal circles.
The award was presented to the Head of State by the Chairperson of Tanzania Women Judges Association (TAWJA), Justice Angela Kileo, and the Executive Director of the International Association of Women Judges, Mrs Joan Winship.
"The Human Rights Award, which the IAWJ has just presented to the Tanzanian leader, is to recognize President Kikwete's tireless efforts in transforming the legal system in his country for the better, especially where gender equality and access to court services are concerned," explained the retired Judge Eusebia Munuo, the outgoing Chairperson of the International Women Judges Association.
Chief Justice, Judge Othman Mohammed Chande said President Kikwete has managed to up the number of women judges at the High Court of Tanzania to reach nearly 44 per cent, indicating the leader's commitment to eradicate disparity in the judiciary.
President Kikwete stated that Tanzania has managed to transmute the judiciary system to comply with human rights issues as more efforts are being undertaken to ensure that practically every citizen can access legal services freely and promptly, with judgement issued on time.
"We have so far excelled very well in establishing more effective labour resolution court systems and soon even matters of criminal cases will undergo major transformation," stated President Kikwete.
The Head of State added that his government was committed to ensure that each region will have a High Court registry while magistrates' courts are to be established in every district in the country.
So far, High Court chambers have been built in 17 regions with four others to be established within this fiscal year, and four more to be built in the next financial year.
President Kikwete also explained that, to ensure smooth provision of legal services in the country, the government will be employing 600 graduate lawyers with the first batch of 300 to be hired within this fiscal year and 300 others to be assimilated in the next.