Dar es Salaam — The newly appointed Acting Chief Justice, Prof Ibrahim Hamis Juma, was yesterday sworn in to replace Justice Mohamed Othman Chande who has retired in accordance with the law.
Judge Juma becomes Tanzania's sixth indigenous chief justice and country's eighth CJ since 1960.
However, he is the first CJ to serve in the acting capacity in the country's history. Prof Juma succeeds Justice Chande who has been serving as chief justice between 2010 and 2017. The other judges who have served in the position are Francis Lucas Nyalali (1977-2000), Barnabas Samatta (2000-2007) and Augustino Ramadhani (2007-2010).
The others before them are Justice Augustine Saidi (1971-1977), Justice Philip Telford Georges (1965 - 1971) and Raph Windham a British national who served between 1960 and 1965.
Prior to his appointment as Acting Chief Justice, Prof Juma, 59, whose new appointment became effective on Tuesday, served as a justice in the Court of Appeal.
He was appointed a High Court judge by President Jakaya Kikwete in 2008 before he was promoted to serve in the Court of Appeal in 2012.
The new Acting CJ also served as the chairman of Law Review Commission of Tanzania (LRCT).
Prior to his appointment as High Court judge in 2008 by President Kikwete, Prof Juma served as a senior lecturer at the University of Dar es Salaam. He also served as the dean of the Faculty of Law at the same university before he was appointed a High Court judge.
During his time at the High Court and the Court of Appeal, Prof Juma presided over various election petitions. These included that of Mr Fred Mpendazoe (Chadema), who challenged Dr Makongoro's victory in 2010 Segerea parliamentary election.
He also heard the case of Mr Hilary Aeshi (CCM) in an election petition filed by Norbert Yamsebo, who unsuccessfully vied for Sumbawanga parliamentary seat on a Chadema ticket.
Prof Juma was one of the five judges, who were tipped by those from judicial corridors as the possible candidates to succeed Judge Chande.
Others, who were tipped include Justice Bernard Luanda, Justice Shaaban Lila, Justice Bethuel Mmila and Justice Mussa Kipenka.
Before the appointment of Attorney General George Masaju, following the resignation of Mr Fredrick Werema at the end of 2015, Judge Juma name was one of those tipped for the position.
Mr Masaju was appointed new AG by President Kikwete in January 2015 before he was reappointed by President Magufuli in November 2015.