Monday, August 22, 2016

Opening Speech by Chief Justice of Zanzibar Mhe Omar Othman Makungu

OPENING SPEECH BY THE GUEST OF HONOUR, HON. OMAR OTHMAN MAKUNGU, CHIEF JUSTICE OF ZANZIBAR  DURING THE TRAINING OF THE LAW ENFORCERS FROM TANZANIA MAINLAND AND ZANZIBAR ON THE LUANDA GUIDELINES ON THE CONDITIONS OF ARREST, POLICE CUSTODY AND PRE–TRIAL DETENTION IN AFRICA, HELD FROM 22ND TO 24TH AUGUST, 2016  AT ZANZIBAR BEACH RESORT, ZANZIBAR
                  
Honourable Bahame Tom Nyanduga, the Chairman of the Commission for Human Rights and Good Governance,
Honourable Commissioners from the Commission for Human Rights and Good Governance,
Distinguished representative from the Tanzania Police Force, Prison and Correctional Facilities,
Sean Tait, the Director and Representative of APCOF,
Honorable Executive Secretary of the Commission for Human Rights and Good Governance,
Honourable Heads of Government Institutions,
 Facilitator and Participants to the training,
 Ladies and Gentlemen.

Good morning!

First of all, praised be to Allah, who has given us opportunity to meet here today   in this important training. At the outset, let me express my sincere appreciation for the honour I have been given to officiate this important training.

I would like to thank the Commission for Human Rights and Good Governance in collaboration with African Policing Civilian Oversight Forum (APCOF) for committing the limited resources, time and energy for this important training, so that it may enable our law enforcement officers to perform their functions of ensuring law and order prevails in a matter that respect human rights. 

Distinguished participants let me also take the opportunity to welcome you all to Zanzibar. I thank the organizers for deciding this important training to be convened in Zanzibar involving all important stakeholders to the realization of pre trial criminal justice in Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar.

I have been informed that the Luanda Guideline were adopted by the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights which is an African Union Institution. The adoption of the Luanda Guideline is therefore a homegrown regional development on the Conditions of Arrest, Police Custody and Pre – Trial Detention in Africa.

Distinguished participants, this training is very strategic for strengthening the capacity of the law enforcement officer on observance, promotion and protection of rights of person during arrest, under police or prison custody and pre trial detention in Tanzania and Zanzibar, It will provide participants to this training with knowledge on Luanda Guidelines and fundamental human rights concepts, international and regional human rights instruments as linked to the Luanda Guidelines. We in the Judiciary in Zanzibar, and throughout the world are guardian to justice, which is founded on fair application of the law, particularly in the conduct of criminal investigation and trials.

The Luanda Guidelines were adopted by the African Charter on Human and People Rights  (ACHPR) during its 55th Ordinary Session in 2014. The Guidelines are an authoritative interpretation of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and they offer specific detail on the measures that, State Parties of the African Union (AU), including Tanzania, should take to uphold, protect and promote the rights of people who are  under   pre-trial detention. The adoption of the Luanda Guidelines is only the first step in promoting a rights-based approach to this critical area of criminal justice system: the success of the Guidelines will be measured by the extent to which they are adopted and used by State Parties, including Tanzania.

The Guideline require the law enforcement officers to safeguard the rights of person under police or prison custody, to register properly the persons under the police or prison custody, while considering the physical conditions of person under police custody and pre – trial detention. This is very critical stage to safeguard the rights of an individual’s, because it is that stage before a suspect or accused person is brought before a court of law, where the court may intervene to ensure his/her rights are safeguarded.

The Luanda Guideline provides for the need of the law enforcement organs to respect human rights, observe laws of the land, procedures and regulations stipulated by the Tanzania Police Force, Tanzania Prison Service and Correctional Facilities in Zanzibar, in order to avoid human rights violations to the person during arrest, under police or prison custody and pre – trial detention, which are protected by the bill of rights as enshrined into the URT Constitution (1977) and the Zanzibar Constitution of 1984.

Distinguished participants, the law enforcement officer in Tanzania, experience challenging situation on issues related to human rights observance, protection and promotion. The magnitude of human rights violations escalates to extra judicial killings and torture, denial of bail, medical treatment, unlawful arrests and detention, misuse of powers and fabrication of cases to innocent people. 

This training is expected to enrich your knowledge on the Luanda Guideline, and strengthen your ability to promote and protect human rights in the exercise of your professional responsibilities. Not only that, but also at the end of this training, you will be able to build a social network among the law enforcement officers and other stakeholders and gain exposure on various matters related to administration of criminal justice system in Tanzania.

Therefore I urge   you to make a regular follow up of the knowledge on the Luanda Guideline that you will acquire during the training and, link it to your daily routine and strive to apply best practice in order to provide the basis for changing working culture and practices at your working stations.

 It is anticipated that, at the end of this training, you will gain knowledge and understandings on the issues related to the Luanda Guideline which   promote observance and protection of human rights in Tanzania, in the cause of implementing your duties of arrest or when the person is placed in the detention facilities. I expect that, the training will enhance your performance at your working stations.  

Distinguished   participants, Having said so what I said, it is now my pleasure to declare that, the training on Luanda Guideline on the Conditions of Arrest, Police Custody and Pre – Trial Detention in Africa , is  officially opened.

I wish you all a successful training and enjoyable stay in Zanzibar.

Thank you for your attention.


22/08/2016