Five delegates from the Tanzanian Judiciary paid a working visit to the Judiciary of Seychelles regarding enhancing cooperation, and particularly sharing human resources and best practices between both institutions.

The delegation consisted of:

Head of delegation – Chief Registrar of the Judiciary of Tanzania, Wilbert Chuma
Registrar of the Court of Appeal, Sylvester Kainda
Director of Administration and Human Resource Management, Beatrice Patrick
Personal Assistant to the Chief Registrar, Jovine Bishanga
Resident Magistrate and Personal Assistant to the Registrar of Court of Appeal, Hassan Chuka

The visit from Monday 22 – Thursday 25 May 2023 was packed with activities. Work began with a 2-day conference focused on how the two Judiciaries function, and specifically on their respective online case management systems.

“We must take stock of the operating systems of our judiciaries and our jurisprudence, identify strengths and weaknesses, as well as find ways and means to consolidate on our achievements, fill in the gaps, remedy weaknesses, correct failings and enhance cooperation,” Chief Justice Rony Govinden noted in his opening address on the first day of the conference hosted at the Palais de Justice.

He also noted that, “…this is a period when the judiciaries of Africa in particular, are facing enormous challenges, often with dire consequences for the protection of the rule of law and human rights. As such, we members of the judiciaries need to make use of whatever opportunities that are presented to us to strengthen our judiciaries in order that we play our rightful roles in the socio-economic and political development of the continent.”

Seychelles’ judiciary has been moving towards more digitization of record keeping, case lodging, filing, producing statistics, and more. There have also been more notable, high profile cases, more drug cases and financial crimes being prosecuted, and cases that set precedence. Tanzania being a larger jurisdiction with an advanced online system that files and manages cases for up to 50 different courts across their country, inclusive of their own system for virtual hearings, presents vast learning opportunities for Seychelles. These were areas that were agreed upon would be good for information exchange and collaboration in order for our judicial officers, administrators, and IT department to benefit from.

Likewise, the Tanzanian delegation indicated that they can learn from Seychelles Judiciary’s internal court recording systems, which at the moment they have difficulties with in their courts.

As part of the work mission schedule, the Judiciary of Seychelles also organized official visits to various courts on Ile du Port, Anse Royal court, and other historic monuments such as State House and the National History Museum for the delegation to gain a better understanding of the country’s history, politics, and legal systems.

All points of possible collaboration and exchange have been compiled into reports that are shared with Tanzania and Seychelles’ respective Chief Justices for consideration so that action points can be implemented into upcoming strategic goals.

Head of the Tanzanian delegation gifts a token of appreciation to Chief Justice Rony Govinden at the farewell dinner

History of collaboration

Notable Tanzanian jurists have served in the Judiciary of Seychelles. Justice Steven Bwana was a Judge of the Supreme Court of Seychelles from 1994 to 1999; and then a Justice of the Court of Appeal of Seychelles from 2004 to 2011. Justice January Henry Msoffe served as a Justice of the Court of Appeal of Seychelles from 2012 to 2017. Prior to that, he was a Senior Magistrate in our Magistrates Court from January to September 1985.

In Seychelles’ Magistracy, we have similarly had long-standing bonds with the Judiciary of Tanzania. Mr. John Samuel Mgetta served as Magistrate in Seychelles from 2001 to 2002, while Mr. Sivangilwa Mwangesi served as Magistrate from 2001 to 2003. Mr. William Mutaki served as Senior Magistrate from 2006 to 2008. Mr. Charles Maximillian Magesa served as Magistrate from 2008 to 2009, as did Mr. Augustine Karichuba Rwizile.

The longest serving magistrate from Tanzania to have served in Seychelles is Magistrate Miriam Ng’hwani, who served as a Magistrate here in the Judiciary from 2011 to 2021. These jurists all served with the Judiciary of Tanzania before their sojourn in Seychelles.

Within the wider justice sector, and the security services, Tanzania and Seychelles have also had historical bonds of cooperation and friendship – within the Prisons Services, Police and the armed forces.