October 5, 2022

Watetezi Media

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AFRICAN COURT ON HUMAN AND PEOPLES’ RIGHTS DELIVERED 14 JUDGMENTS

By Paul Kisabo

Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition (THRDC) attended
the judgement delivery session of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African
Court). The session was held at Julius Nyerere International Convention Centre (JNICC) where
the African Court delivered 14 Judgments.


Amongst the 14 judgments, 8 cases were against the United Republic of Tanzania. The session
was livestreamed by Watetezi Online Tv via: https://youtu.be/oecO10lTK8Q. All the cases
were filed by individuals to challenge their violation of individual human rights against the
respondent states. They do not include cases filed by Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) for
strategic reforms.
Out of 8 cases against the United Republic of Tanzania, 5 cases were held in favour of the
Applicants. Only 2 cases were held in favour of the United Republic of Tanzania. The case of
Gozbert Henerico v. United Republic of Tanzania (Application 056/2016) was not decided
but the Court scheduled another date for issuance of its judgment.
The cases upon which the judgment was delivered against the United Republic of Tanzania are
the following.


In the case of Thobias Mango & Another v. United Republic of Tanzania (Application
005/2015) the Applicants alleged that their right to fair trial was violated by the respondent
state and delayed in providing witness statement. The African Court held the matter on merit
in May 2018 to the extent that the Respondent state violated article 1 of the charter and the
right to fair trial as enshrined in the charter. On the request for reparation, which is the subject
of the ruling issued yesterday, the court awarded damages for the loss suffered by the
Applicant. Also, to submit within six months a report on the implementation of the orders of
the court.


In the case of Anudo Ochieng Anudo v. United Republic of Tanzania (Application
012/2015), the Applicant was forcefully repatriated from Tanzania to Kenya, in May 2018 the
court held on merit that the Respondent state arbitrary violated the right to be heard of the
Applicant. Further the court ordered to amend the state’s laws to envisage the right to be heard
in case if there is a question of citizenship status of an individual.
On the request for reparation, which is the subject of the yesterday’s ruling, the court ruled and
granted the Applicant’s prayers that, he suffered loss for the loss of income from his
employment and awarded 46 million, 10 million for loss of business, damages a lumpsum of 3
million, damages of indirect victims amounting to 10 million for each of his 4 children (40 in
total), 5 million to his father and 5 million to his mother
The Respondent state was ordered to take all necessary steps to allow the Applicant to return
to Tanzania, the respondent state to amend its laws. To publish the judgment on merit and the
ruling on the website of the judicially and that of the government. To submit within six months
a report on the implementation of the orders of the court.


In the case of Hamis Shaban @ Hamis Ustadh v. United Republic of Tanzania (Application
026/2015) the African Court held that it has jurisdiction to adjudicate the matter. The matter
was admissible, the right to be heard of the Applicant under 7(1)(c ) of the African Charter was
violated by the respondent state for failure to provide the Applicant with free legal services,
further the court awarded Tshs 300,000 damages free from tax to be paid within three months.
To submit within six months a report on the implementation of the orders of the court.
In the case of Sadick Marwa Kisase v. United Republic of Tanzania (Application 005/2016)
the African Court dismissed the respondent state objections, ruling that, it has material
jurisdiction over the matter. Further, the Applicant exhausted domestic local remedies and the
matter was filed within reasonable time.


On merit the court held that, the respondent state violated the right to free legal assistance of
the Applicant. The Applicant was supposed to be given legal assistance even if he did not
request for it as he was charged and convicted for an offence of armed robbery. Hence the
respondent state violated the right to legal defence as enshrined under article 7(1)(c ) of the
Charter. Further the court awarded Tshs 300,000 damages free from tax to be paid within three
months.


However, the Court held further that, the respondent did not violate the right to equal protection
of the law, right to be heard during domestic proceedings. Lastly, the respondent state was
ordered to submit within six months a report on the implementation of the orders of the court.
In the case of Robert Richard v. United Republic of Tanzania (Application 035/2016) the
African Court held that, it has jurisdiction over the matter and the application was admissible.
Further, the respondent violated the right to fair trial against the Applicant. Moreover, the court
awarded Tshs 5,000,000 damages free from tax to be paid to the Applicant within three months.
Lastly, the respondent state was ordered to submit within six months a report on the
implementation of the orders of the court.


In the case of Layford Makene v. United Republic of Tanzania (Application 028/2017) in
2006 the Applicant was charged for rape and sentenced to 30 years imprisonment. He lodged
his application before the African Court challenging both his conviction and sentence. He
prayed for the court to set aside both conviction and sentence and compensation of Tshs 46
million for the loss suffered.
The respondent state objected the application on grounds of jurisdiction and requested the court
to dismiss all the prayers submitted by the Applicant.
The African Court held that it has jurisdiction, and the matter was admissible as the Applicant
exhausted local remedies. However, the court ruled that the application is inadmissible for
being filed not within reasonable time.


In the case of Mohamed Selemani Marwa v. United Republic of Tanzania (Application
014/2016) the Applicant was arrested and charged in 2005 for an offence of armed robbery. He
was sentenced to 30 years imprisonment.
He prayed for the court to set aside both conviction and sentence, an order for compensation,
arguing that the respondent state violated article 1,2,3,7,19 and 26 of the African charter for
failure to give him legal assistance, an order for the respondent state to take immediate steps to
remedy the situation.
The respondent state strongly objected the prayers of the Applicant and prayed for them to be
dismissed for lack of merit. The African Court held that, it has material jurisdiction, and the
application was admissible. On the merit the court held that, the respondent state did not violate
article 1,2,3,7,19 and 26 of the African charter.


Apart from the cases against the United Republic of Tanzania, six (6) other cases were against
other four (4) country members of the African Union (AU): 1 case was against the Republic of
Rwanda, 2 cases were against the Republic of Mali, 1 case was against the Republic of Cote
d’Ivoire, and 2 cases were against the Republic of Benin.
In the case of Laurent Munyandilikirwa v. Republic of Rwanda (Application 023/2015) the
Africa Court held that the application was inadmissible because the Applicant failed to exhaust
local remedies.


In the case of Yaya Fane & 43 Autres v. Republic of Mali (Application 006/2018) the African
Court ruled that, it has jurisdiction to adjudicate and the matter was admissible.
In the case of Yaya Koné v. Republic of Mali (Application 001/2021) the Court held that it
has jurisdiction over the matter and the evidence submitted by the Applicant were admissible.
However, it has found that the respondent state did not violate the right to equality before the
law and the right to fair trial against the Applicant.


In the case of Koudio Kobena Fory & Others v. Republic of Cote d’Ivoire (Application
034/2017) the African Court ruled that, it has jurisdiction to adjudicate and the matter was
admissible. The court found that the Respondent state violated the right to be heard within the
reasonable time against the Applicants as provided for under Article 7 of the African Charter.
The court ordered the Respondent state to publish the judgment for at least one year on the
website of the government. Further the respondent state must report within six months on the
implementation of the judgment.


In the case of Glory Cyriaque Hossou et Un Autre v. Republic of Benin (Application
016/2020) the Applicants filed an application before the court challenging the withdrawal by
the Republic of Benin of its Declaration accepting the jurisdiction of the Court to receive
applications from individuals and Non-Governmental Organisations was a violation of their
rights. The court held that the respondent state had the right to withdraw its declaration under
Article 34(6) of the Protocol.


In the case of Sébastien Germain Marie Aikoué Ajavon v. Republic of Benin (Application
027/2020) the African Court ruled that, it has jurisdiction to adjudicate and the matter was
admissible.