——Katete Magistrates have complained of traditional leaders interference in court operations.
Magistrate Mary Musongole says it was disappointing to note that most traditional rulers in the district has been relating with the courts.
She said often times magistrates have received letters instructing them to discontinue cases before them or risk their cases being transferred to the traditional courts.
The magistrate said there have been instances where traditional leaders have indicated that they did not want the presence of the local court magistrates as they preferred to handle cases themselves.
ZANIS reports that the magistrate said this when High Court Judge Justin Chashi Visited the district, today.
She observed that the court has a number of delayed cases because the witnesses have been threatened or are in fear of the traditional consequences they would suffer at the end.
Magistrate Musongole informed the judge it was worrying to see traditional leaders pushing to decide which cases should go through prosecution and not as justice was meant to be done by the courts of law in order to deter other would be offenders in the community.
And Magistrate Simushi Mwakoi has bemoaned the inadequate and inconsistent funding to the judiciary in the district.
Magistrate Mwakoi said the district courts were working under very difficult circumstances citing infrastructure, transport and furniture as factors that have affected operations.
He explained the case of Sinda district which is still under Katete where magistrates are using the local court infrastructure to attend to criminal matters.
In response to the matters raised by the magistrates, High Court Judge Justin Chashi has urged court officers to refrain from engaging in corrupt activities.
Judge Chashi said government is aware of the challenges the judiciary is facing.
He said people should realize and appreciate the laws of the land and not wait for bad things to happen cross to them.
He noted that traditional leaders and the judiciary are stakeholders in all matters of development in the country.
He said it was sad to note the account of matters happening in Katete but added that there was need for more sensitization and ensure that specifications of boundaries are drawn on matters affecting the dispensation of justice.