AfricaPress-Tanzania: THE government has said that it has taken measures to reduce congestion in the country’s cells and prisons, including involving criminal justice agencies and encouraging the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
Home Affairs Deputy Minister, Khamis Chilo told the National Assembly here that other measures include review of the Criminal Procedure Act 2009, encourage the use of ICT Judiciary, Police and Prisons, especially video conference.
Mr Chilo noted that review of some sections of the Criminal Procedure Act 2009 has helped a lot to ease congestion in cells and prisons.
He mentioned some sections which have been reviewed as 170, 163 and 225, noting that the review of these areas has helped a lot to reduce overcrowding in our prisons.
He added that the government has also expanded and constructed new prisons in areas which lacked the service, such as Ruangwa and Chato as well as imposing soft bail conditions.
Mr Chilo further said that the establishment of a mobile court has helped a lot in delivering ruling on minor offences without talking the criminals in cells or prisons.
The Deputy Minister was responding to a question from Konde MP Khatibu Said Haji (ACT- Wazalendo), who wanted to know measures being taken by the government to ease congestion in the county’s prisons.
He said that the government is aware of overcrowding in prisons and cells and it has been taking various measures to address the problem.
Chilo said that until March 30 this year, there were a total of 33,473 inmates in the country’s jails, where 16,735 are prisoners and 16,738 remand prisoners while the country’s prisons’ capacity is 29,902.
Special Seats MP Sophia Mwakagenda (Chadema) had the view that instead of building new prisons or cells, the government should empower the office of Director of Public Prosecutions so that they can speed up the investigation process.
Responding, Mr Chilo said that there are special organs entrusted with the responsibility of conducting investigations such as police and Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB).