Sunday, 20 December 2009
THE REALITY OF TANZANIA'S INVESTOR FRIENDLY RHETORIC
An effective rule of law is a fundamental element of good governance. Claims to good governance status based on the existence of the rule of law are often rhetorical claims from governments propping up corrupt and abusive legal regimes. Such is the case in Tanzania where there is no effective rule of law and where the police and judicial administrations are filthy with corruption relying on bribery and extortion to supplement low incomes.
State Attorneys assume their corrupt roles when powerful local interests need to be promoted through the criminal courts. In a survey commissioned by the Kenyan Division of Transparency International (July 2009) the Tanzanian police were ranked the second most corrupt institution in East Africa with a 62.2% bribery rate and the Tanzanian Judiciary achieving a 61.5 % bribery rating.
Law does not combat the root causes of corruption but it can, if administered objectively, form an effective deterrent. Until it does, the unheard are denied voices, the poor are further impoverished, the innocent denied justice and sustainable development rendered impossible. The police, particularly in the lower ranks know or care nothing of the penal code or the required procedures for arrest. Human rights are brutally denied on a daily basis resulting in people in prison for years for crimes they did not commit or know nothing about. The scope within the administrations of justice for the operation of simplistic but effective corruption resulting in the deprivation of human rights and freedoms is truly terrifying.
What is clear is, that the rhetoric coming out of Tanzania vis-à-vis good governance does not sit comfortably with the reality and any genuine commitment to substantive political reform is for the foreseeable future undermined by the absence of an objective rule of law.