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AFRICA/CARIBBEAN NOW: Tanzania Vows to Get Tough on Corrupt Judicial Officials

Tanzanian magistrates and other judicial officers risk losing their respective jobs if it will be proved or otherwise to have been involved in bribery transactions when conducting their official duties, the country’s chief justice warned.

The justice, Ibrahim Juma, made the vow Saturday while administering the oath-taking of 65 new resident magistrates at the High Court building in Dar es Salaam, the Tanzania Daily News reported.

“It does not sound well for a magistrate to be implicated in bribery scandals,” the justice said. “It is a shame for a magistrate to be taken before his or her colleague member of the bench facing bribery charges. We will act very tough on those who will involve themselves in such malpractices.”

Juma said the current position of the Judicial Service Commission was that any magistrate taken to court for bribery charges would be retired on public interests, even if he or she would not be found guilty of the offenses.

He pointed out that they were striving to clean up all corrupt elements, emphasizing that it would be better for a person to continue doing other things instead of petitioning to be a magistrate with a view of getting more benefits than those outlined in his or her employment contract.

“Our salary scales do not differ with other public servants, and you must read once more your employment letters if you really want to know what are your entitlements,” Juma said. “We should not expect other benefits outside the lawful system.”

Guyana Rescues Dozens of Human Trafficking Victims

Nearly 80 victims of human trafficking have been rescued in Guyana so far this year, authorities said.

The announcement was made Saturday during the Ministry of Social Protection’s “Freedom Fest” at the D’Urban Park tarmac ahead of World Day against Trafficking in Persons, which was observed Monday, the Guyana Chronicle reported.

“Between January 5 to July 3, 2018, 77 alleged victims were rescued and provided with the necessary psychosocial support by the [ministry],” said Minister of Social Protection Amna Ally, adding that 69 of them were placed in protective care and some were assisted with job placements, educational and training opportunities along with judicial support.

In May alone, eight of 16 young women — 14 Venezuelans, one Cuban and one from the Dominican Republic — were rescued during a raid executed by the Guyana Police Force in Kitty, Georgetown.

Bahamas Cracks Down on Illegal Flights

The Bahamas Civil Aviation Authority (BCAA) recently outlined several initiatives to clamp down on illegal flight operations.

These initiatives include requiring Bahamian pilots holding foreign licenses to apply for Bahamian licenses, a public education air safety campaign, and the creation of a multi-agency law enforcement task force.

Led by BCAA Director General Capt. Charles Beneby, the July 27 press conference served as a followup to the authority’s briefing in the wake of a January plane crash off Mastic Point, Andros, that claimed the lives of six people. Officials said the pilot lacked the required licenses to charter flights.

The BCAA subsequently pledged to clamp down on illegal charter operations by embracing technology, involving law enforcement and increasing surveillance to identify and prosecute lawbreakers in the aviation industry.

“We constantly review our processes, but coming out of the accident in January, we have been … very busy in reviewing our systems,” Beneby said. “We’ve realized that that particular issue highlighted the need for a multi-pronged approach to resolving, eradicating … what has been in place for some time — a practice of illegal operations, where persons not duly authorized and qualified are engaged in the carriage of persons, we believe for hire.”

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