February 6, 2017
ACT-Wazalendo party has opposed President John Magufuli’s order to arrest lawyers who defend suspects with evidence apparently incriminating them.
ACT Ideology and Publicity Secretary Ado Shaibu told journalists in the city yesterday that the order in the Head of State’s speech at the Law Day event recently was against the principles of rule of law.
“The court is a temple of justice. No one should fear to enter it to get his or her legal redress. Also, having a lawyer is an essence of the rule of law, which Tanzanians should enjoy,” said Mr Shaibu, whose party leader is prominent lawmaker and politician Kabwe Zitto.
He said that lawyers’ duties were guided by the country’s Constitution and laws which give suspects the right to get either a private or a public lawyer.
President Magufuli on Thursday last week urged courts to immediate send to jail suspects arrested with evidence that incriminate them, adding that even lawyers who defend them should be jailed as well.
He then insisted that even the lawyer who stands to defend them should face troubles.
July 27, 2016
Heavily armed police stopped a demonstration by lawyers based here who were protesting against the arrest of their colleague in Loliondo Shilinde Ngalula as the Tanganyika Law Society (TLS) joined the fray to condemn the security operation in Ngorongoro.
Lawyers from all corners of Arusha clad in their black gowns had converged at the High Court premises in the city and started marching to the regional police commander’s office to protest but police stepped in and stopped them.
The situation nearly degenerated into a confrontation between them and members of the crack Field Force Unit (FFU) who ordered the former to stop marching lest they face the full wrath of law.
“This is a procession and not an ordinary march. We cannot allow that,” shouted the commander of the anti-riot unit at the site as he gave them ultimatum to risk arrest or pick their representatives to forward their grievances to relevant authorities.
The police leader warned the lawyers, mostly advocates, that they had been tasked to stop the march and ordered them not to proceed and instead to turn back to the Court buildings.
The lawyers retreated, thus defusing what could have been an explosive situation. The lawyers chose to immediately pick a few of their representatives to see the RPC to express their anger over the arrest and detention of Mr. Shilinde who is the officer in charge of the Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC) in Arusha.
The drama at the High Court premises in Arusha began earlier in the day when the lawyers condemned the continued intimidation of advocate Shilinde who remains detained at the Loliondo police station on alleged community incitement and espionage.
July 26, 2016
On Friday 22nd July 2016, we learned that one of our member, Advocate Shilinde Ngalula was arrested; temporarily detained and questioned while undertaking his duties as an advocate in Loliondo District by security organs on allegations of community incitement and espionage.
We have established beyond per adventure that during his arrest on 22nd July, 2016, Mr. Ngalula was following up a case involving his clients who had been earlier arrested and detained by the Tanzania Police Force for several days in Police cells without being formally charged contrary to laid down procedures. We were informed that these arrests were part of a security operation in a long standing land dispute between Maasai pastoral communities and foreign investors from UAE and USA.
While were following up on the matter we received information that Advocate Ngalula was later released on Police bail with directions that he should report back to the Police Station on Monday, 25th July 2016 for statement taking. Following the directives that he should report back on 26th July 2016, Advocate Ngalula opted to comply with the order and remained in Loliondo rather than returning to his base in Arusha Town. We wish to record that while undergoing all this interrogation procedures, Mr. Ngalula had not been accorded an opportunity to perform his noble obligations as an Advocate by failing to meet his clients who were under police detention.