Tanzanian woman’s complaint message display draws Magufuli’s attention

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The woman was about to be arrested by the police but the atmosphere changed after the President allowed her to speak. This unfolded shortly after the Head of State had concluded his speech.

DAR ES SALAAM — Drama unfolded as a middle-aged woman, Ms Swahaba Shosi, stepped forward waving a placard that drew President John Magufuli’s attention during the event to mark the Law Day at Mahakama grounds yesterday.

Her red dress made it easier for everyone to notice her. Her placard spoke volumes: “Police, the DPP and the Judiciary are conspiring to deny me the right to inherit property left by my husband even though I have all legal documents.”

Ms Shosi was about to be arrested by the police but the atmosphere changed after the President allowed her to speak. This unfolded shortly after the Head of State had concluded his speech.

Narrating her complaints, the woman said she has been blocked by dishonest members of the Judiciary, police and private advocates from securing the right to gain control of property left by he departed husband Mohamed Shosi who died in 2012. “I have come all the way from Tanga just to meet Mr President after the failure of all efforts that I have so far taken,” she said emotionally, trying hard to contain herself.

She explained how she met Inspector General of Police (IGP) Ernest Mangu, DPP Biswalo Mganga, Minister of Constitution and Legal Affairs Dr Harrison Mwakyembe, Attorney General George Masaju as well as Home Affairs minister Mwigulu Nchemba. All that came to naught, she told the attentive President.

Emotions were heightened when she narrated how she has been receiving death threats via SMS from unknown people, a matter she has been reporting to the police since 2012.

She said some people have tampered with the deceased’s will so that it would read she is not entitled to inherit anything. “They have forged signatures and many other documents including death certificates. They are using money to rob me of my rights, a Tanga-advocate is collaborating with some members of the family,” she explained. “It is not just me, sir. There are many women like me who are being denied their rights. Please, help me,” she pleaded, holding back her tears.

The President did not interrupt her until she was done. She said she was aware she had done a dangerous thing, but she was ready the consequences.

When she finally finished, the audience was dead silent. The President then spoke to her kindly. He then asked IGP Mangu to clarify the matter.

The IGP confirmed to have received the case but after primary investigations, the matter was referred to the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and the DPP’s offices. He heaped blames on advocates, whom he said were responsible for prolonging the matter, saying the police force would address the matter as soon after it was reported.

Dr Magufuli directed the IGP, AG, DPP and the Judiciary to act immediately and ensure justice is done. He also tasked the IGP to provide her with security. “Also, you will be communicating directly with the Principal Judge Ferdinand Wambali… take his number to ease the process.” he told the woman.

Ms Shosi thanked the President for his quick intervention, saying it has flashed the green light for her to gain the rights which she was likely to lose.

Earlier, the Acting Chief Justice, Prof Ibrahim Juma, said the Judiciary has so far managed to conclude 248 cases out of the 249 which were as filed to challenge the 2015 General Election results.

“From the number, 35 cases were for MPs and 196 were for Councillors… only the case on Mbagala remains, and I can assure you the hearing will start in this month,” he said

He went on to list other successes that included meeting the case conclusion target by 101 per cent noting that as of December 31 last year, at least 296,662 had been concluded.

Tanzania has also been doing better in contract enforcement as the World Bank (WB) record shows for 2016 as the country placed at the 57th position worldwide.

In the category of developing countries performance, Tanzania is in position 4. This success couldn’t be achieved if there was no cooperation and support from the government.

The Acting CJ further asked the President to allow the Judiciary to recruit new employees to fill the current gaps.

©Alleastafrica and The Citizen

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