Monday, 2 August 2010
Chief Justice Augustino Ramadhan ignores rule of law to the Silverdale Farm case
What is crystal clear is, that the Chief justice ignores rule of law to the Silverdale Farm case
Chief Justice Augustino Ramadhan (left)
"I have enjoyed an excellent working relationship with the president"
Despite the scrutiny of the case by Tanzania’s senior law officer Chief Justice Augustino Ramdhan the law continues to be abused. Benjamin Mengi sued the investors for libel in the Moshi Magistrates court in February 2007 claiming $90.000 in damages for statements accredited to them in Tanzania’s government newspaper ‘The Daily News’. The investors were neither the printers, publishers nor editors of the publication and under Tanzanian law; Mengi had no right to sue them. The Daily News was the appropriate opponent. The Chief Justice was informed of the abuse of law by the British government as was the Public Corruption bureau that agreed that the proceedings were illegal. Despite this, Magistrate Mkisi of the Moshi Magistrates court allowed an ex parte hearing of the case giving judgement to Mengi and an attachment order for all the investors’ property in Tanzania including their cats, dogs and horses.
The investors appeal of the judgment has been pending for two years. Former British ambassador to Tanzania Philip Parham repeatedly asked the Chief Justice for the appeal to be heard in accordance with due process of law and was his personal assurance that due process would be followed. However, the investor’s lawyer attended the Moshi High Court on the 24th February 2009 on summons for a mention of the case to be informed that the appeal had been arbitrarily struck out without notice effectively, confirming the unlawful judgment of magistrate Mkisi.
The Chief Justice persisted in asking the British investors to negotiate with Mengi. A totally inappropriate an extra judicial measure. He removed all the cases against the investors brought by Mengi from the courts stating he was going to Review them. One year later, he put them back stating he was no longer going to Review them!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What is crystal clear is, that the Chief justice is not prepared to apply the rule of law to the Silverdale Farm case. A sad indictment indeed on Tanzania's highest law officer.