The retired Chief Justice, Augustino Ramadhan has challenged the government to put in more effort and resources in promoting legal rights of its citizens in the country.

He made the remarks yesterday in Dar es Salaam when speaking at the US Embassy where he was awarded the 2012 Dr Martin Luther King Drum Major for Justice Award by the US Ambassador Alfonso Lenhardt following his lifetime work in promoting legal rights for all citizens in the country.

Retired Chief Justice, Augustino Ramadhan

The retired Chief Justice said for example, that there has been violation of the Criminal Procedure Act of 1985, section 32 (1) that permits a person to be arrested and detained for not more than 24 hours stressing that some people have been held in police cells beyond the permitted period.

He expressed his disappointment at the failure of police in charge to order release of such persons with or without bond…unless the offence appears to be serious.

He said officers in charge are required to report all arrests without warrant made within 24 hrs to the nearest magistrate even when they have been admitted to bail.

“There are a number of times when these provisions are flouted with impurity. Unfortunately magistrates have never bothered to enforce them within their jurisdictions,” he said.

US Ambassador Alfonso Leinhardt said: “His lifetime of public services and role as a leading voice on the need to guarantee women’s access to justice and property rights epitomizes the letter and spirit of Dr King’s legacy…he continues to promote government transparency to uphold the principles of justice and public accountability to strengthen country’s democracy and public trust in its institutions.”

The ambassador also noted that the retired Chief Justice Ramadhani’s career has commanded respect thoughtout the region, resulting in his continued service in the Arusha based African court of justice and human right.

“At a crutial time when Tanzania’s justice sector seeks to reform to better serve Tanzanians, they found a voice in retired Chief Justice Ramadhan,” he noted.

For his part the last year Dr King’s Awardee, Ali Mzee Ali, former Chairman of the Zanzibar House of Representatives and the Zanzibar committee of Six applauded the retired Chief Justice Ramadhani for being champion of justice in Zanzibar and Tanzania mainland.

The former chairman said the retired chief justice made a great contribution in the judiciary system in the country which he deserves recognition.

Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki has named the retired Chief Justice Ramadhan to lead a seven – member Kenyan tribunal to investigate a domestic legal case in their country.

The past recipient of the Rev Dr King’s Drum Major for Justice Awards include Joseph Sinde Warioba (1999), Mwl Julius Nyerere (2000), Francis Nyalali (2002), Prof Geoffrey Mmari (2003), Ms Justa Mwaituka (2004), Ambassador Gertrude Mongella (2005), and Dr Salim A. Salim (2006).

Others included Rashid Kawawa (2007), IPP Executive Chairman Reginald Mengi (2008), the people of Albinism Community of Tanzania (2009), Dr Marina Njelekela (2010) and Ali Mzee Ali (2011).

By SYLIVESTER DOMASA, The Guardian

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