AfricaPress-Tanzania: TANZANIA is taking serious practical steps in fighting corruption with President John Magufuli yesterday, again insisting that his government will continue to close bribery loopholes in the next five years.
In fact, for the past five year, the fifth phase government has taken disciplinary measures against 32,555 employees and enabled the country to rank first among 35 African countries in the fight against corruption.
In his address to the nation while inaugurating the 12th Parliament in the capital city of Dodoma on Friday, President Magufuli pledged to provide full support to the Judiciary to facilitate easy fulfillment of its responsibilities in dispensing justice to the public.
The Head of State pointed out that the Judiciary is very important not only in smooth running of the government, but also building social unity as well as maintaining peace and security.
“As you know, the Judiciary is important in leading the government. It is important in building social solidity, maintaining peace and security as well as stimulating economic activity,” Dr Magufuli told the fully packed National Assembly.
According to him, over the next five years, the second term of his fifth phase government would also strengthen good governance, and especially maintain discipline in the public service as well as intensify the fight against corruption, theft, embezzlement and misuse of public funds.
“Over the past five years, we have taken disciplinary action against 32,555 employees and enabled our country to rank first among 35 African countries in the fight against corruption, according to transparent international,” the president revealed.
He also noted that due to such strong measures Tanzania was also ranked 28th out of 136 countries in the world for the efficient use of public funds, according to a 2019 World Economic Forum survey.
President Magufuli told the Parliamentarians and the public in general that all the things his government has planned to implement for the next few years are set out in the 2020/2025 election manifesto of the ruling CCM.
Among such issues included continued efforts on strengthening the rule of law in the country and increasing the fight against corruption.
As regard to the rule of law, in its election manifesto, CCM has directed the government to take various measures.
They included protecting constitutional rights of citizens, who participate in various debates concerning development of their nation and providing public education on constitutional and legal issues in order to strengthen the foundations of constitutionalism, democracy, good governance and rule of law.
The government will also take further steps to reduce the backlog of cases in court and strengthen the system of assistant registrars in all councils to facilitate the coordination and provision of legal aid to citizens, including legal aid assistance in matters of inheritance and marriage.
It further ensure quality legal services are available in a timely and cost-effective manner by adding experts, infrastructure, equipment and moving services closer to the people and strengthening the legal system by expanding the scope of justice services in the country.
Other measures are improving infrastructure to create an enabling working environment by building court buildings at various levels, building prosecution offices at the district level and building offices of headquarters institutions in the capital city of Dodoma.
The government will strengthen the use of the Kiswahili language in the provision of judicial services, writing of legal documents, build ICT systems and continue to encourage its use in the administration of justice and expedite the investigation of cases to accelerate access to justice in the country.
More measures also included focusing on the use of alternative punishments to reduce the overcrowding of remand prisoners, inmates in prisons and reduce the running costs of the case and strengthen the Judicial Service Commission so that it can effectively manage ethics and discipline in the judiciary.
On the fight against corruption and in recognizing that graft is the enemy of justice, CCM has openly indicated in the election manifesto that it would not tolerate acts of corruption in any way.
To achieve these goals, the ruling party has further directed the government to take various measures. They included strengthening the systems and the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) to carry out its functions effectively and reviewing the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Act no. 11 of 2007 to reduce corruption offenses due to changes in corrupt behaviour and practices.
The government will control abuse of office, waste of public funds and crack down corrupt practices in various areas and also design and implement new anti-corruption strategies.
Other measures are to sensitize and engage community in the fight against corruption and continue to conduct various studies to identify and plug new corruption loopholes.
During implementation of the 2015/2020 CCM’s election manifesto, the government recorded a number of successes in the legal sector and fighting corruption.