International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR)

International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR)
www.ijsr.net | Most Trusted Research Journal Since Year 2012

ISSN: 2319-7064



Research Paper | Law | Kenya | Volume 6 Issue 5, May 2017

Effectiveness of Ward Tribunals in Dispensing Justice as Land Courts in Tanzania: Case of Arusha City

Doris Wilson Mangure

Ward Tribunals are creatures of law. They were established in 1985 by the Ward Tribunals Act, 1985 CAP 206 R.E. 2002 when the central government decided to revitalize local government authorities. They are thus part of the decentralization reform. They are lower courts consisting of lay persons with limited jurisdiction and they help relieve the primary courts of their increasing workload. Section 8 (1) of the Ward tribunals Act of 1985, provides that, the primary function of each tribunal is to secure peace and harmony in their areas by mediating and endeavoring to obtain just and amicable settlements of disputes. If a settlement cannot be reached, the tribunals have to decide the case. In 2002 after the enactment of The Land Disputes Courts Act, Act No. 2 of 2002, CAP 216 R.E 2002, ward tribunals apart from it original functions, they became land courts. Ward tribunals as land courts were now charged with the duties and responsibilities, among others in dealing with and adjudicating upon land and housing disputes within the area they are established. This study was conducted in Arusha city focusing on understanding the effectiveness of ward tribunals in dispensing justice as land courts in Tanzania A case of Arusha City. Basically, it explored the availability and accessibility of legal services, quality of legal services, procedures and considerations in opening and handling cases. The study embraced both quantitative and qualitative methods but it was predominantly qualitative in nature. During data collection phase, interview technique was employed using a set of questionnaires designed for each group of respondents who were ward tribunal members, DHLTOs, Mitaa executive officers, Ward Executive officers, councilors, tribunal secretaries and Arusha city residents (Refer Figure 3.1) and interview guide. Secondary data was through review of published and unpublished literature. Data collected through interviews and documentary review was analyzed using content and contextual analysis technique. In fact, the study shows that, In procedure and consideration in opening cases, the study found out that the law has made a room for other people other than ward tribunal members to initiate proceedings of ward tribunals. The study revealed that, that has two effects, one, the procedure and consideration in opening and handling cases is tedious and cumbersome. Secondly, it gives room of the ward tribunals to be interfered by other authorities like the mtaa executive offices, ward executive officers thinking provided they participated in opening and initiating cases, and then they can also participate in decision making. The legal services in ward tribunals found to be available but are not obtainable timely. The tribunals are sitting once in a week thus legal services are not provided timely and most of the cases take long to be heard at an average of six months. Most of the cases in Ward tribunals found taking more than six months to be heard the situation which cause people to distrust these Tribunal operations and its effectiveness. Challenges in handling cases in the tribunals have lead to quality of legal services in tribunals as land courts to be unsatisfactory. This notion has been associated with residents limited understanding on by- laws passed by tribunals, corruption, limited understanding of laws and legal procedures among tribunal members, few female tribunal members, poor working infrastructures like court rooms, offices and inadequate rooms to accommodate the claimants and defendants stationeries and lack of sitting allowances to members and salary to the secretary. Both analyses of primary and secondary data revealed that poor governance of ward tribunals affects its effectiveness in dispensing justice as land courts. However, despite the challenges, ward tribunals have not been without important achievements. Its establishment has met with considerable enthusiasm and their performance on whole seems to have maintained hope among the respective communities that this organ will continue to be useful to them. The above analysis and conclusion indicates that, establishment of ward tribunals as land courts was a good idea, but its governance has to be improved so that they can be effective in dispensing justice. There are other factors which have significance influence in the effectiveness of ward tribunals in dispensing justice. It is hereby recommended that to improve effectiveness of ward tribunals in dispensing justice, ward tribunals needs to have good facilities like buildings, furniture, remunerations to members and secretary be permanent and pensionable employee of the local government where the ward tribunal situates as required by law. I recommended to the government of Tanzania in general

Keywords: Effectiveness, Ward Tribunals, Justice Administration, Land Courts, Dispute Resolution

Edition: Volume 6 Issue 5, May 2017

Pages: 2045 - 2050


How to Cite this Article?

Doris Wilson Mangure, "Effectiveness of Ward Tribunals in Dispensing Justice as Land Courts in Tanzania: Case of Arusha City", International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR), https://www.ijsr.net/search_index_results_paperid.php?id=ART20173759, Volume 6 Issue 5, May 2017, 2045 - 2050

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