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Monday, July 29, 2019


Zanzibar-based paralegal, Donald Msechu educating residents in Unguja on legal and related matters, including accessibility and accessibility of free legal aid services during “Sio Tatizo Tena campaign” which is funded by the Legal Services Facility (LSF) in Zanzibar. (Photo by Correspondent)

Around 2000 people have been reached with legal aid services, legal and human rights education through a focused and strategic campaign dubbed “Msaada wa Kisheria Siyo Tatizo Tena (Legal Aid is not a problem anymore in Tanzania)”—which has been designed to help needy and disadvantaged people out of various forms of injustices and violence.
Commenced officially late last year, the drive “Legal aid is not Problem Anymore in Tanzania” was meant to make it easier for poor women and men facing legal problems to access justice and secure their rights –through free legal aid services offered by paralegals.  A six-month campaign (December 2018-June 2019) is implemented and sponsored by the Legal Services Facility (LSF)—a non-governmental and non-profit organization which provide financial and technical support to legal aid organizations involved in the implementation of paralegals and legal aid projects on Tanzania mainland and Zanzibar.
The campaign covered some wards across Temeke, Kinondoni and Ilala municipalities and several wards in Zanzibar—Unguja and Pemba, according to an official report issued by LSF. “Among other things, Msaada wa Kisheria Siyo Tatizo Tena crusade, seeks to broaden and enhance public awareness on the availability and accessibility of free legal aid services offered by paralegals across all districts of Tanzania,” noted LSF report in part.
Thousands of residents in Dar es Salaam (1, 1000) and Zanzibar (789) have benefited from the campaign; they received free legal aid services and got their legal and related problems (related to land, early-marriage, early-pregnancies, divorce, gender-based violence etc) resolved through quality legal aid services provided by paralegals.
In an exclusive interview with this paper, Coordinator of Kinondoni paralegal unit, Anthony Isakwi said “Of course, ‘Msaada wa Kisheria Siyo Tatizo Tena’ has produced impressive results in our municipality, as many people in two wards (Kigogo Mkwajuni and Kawe Sokoni) were counseled and received relevant education on legal and other related affairs.”
Elias Mkapa, Coordinator of Temeke paralegal centre said the campaign benefited thousands of needy people in the municipality, some of them had their problems solved (on the spot) peacefully by Temeke paralegals in three wards Fenesini, Mangengeni and Mtongani. He, however, suggested that “such campaigns should be conducted on regular basis, at least once in a month in order to produce greater results.”
Residents in Ilala municipality received free legal assistance (counseled and advised) during the “Msaada wa Kisheria Siyo Tatizo Tena Campaign” conducted in two wards—Bungoni-Mafuriko and Buguruni, according to Salumu Kindokomile, Coordinator of Ilala paralegal centre.
“It’s undeniable fact that approaches of the campaign (which included drama and music performances, public shows etc), is good and results-oriented, as it attracts and allow many people to get legal aid education at a go. But we still need to expand the drive, covering all wards of the Dar es Salaam municipalities,” noted Kindokomile.
For his part, Jovin Rugambo, an official from Paladin & Associates, a media agency which provided technical support in the implementation of the campaign, said large number of people turned up and benefited (in terms of legal and related education and their problems resolved) during the campaigns conducted in some parts of Zanzibar—Kwerekwe market at West B, Fuoni at West B, Kinyasini market, Matemwe wards in Unguja and two wards in Pemba--Muwambe-Mkoani and Mchangamdogo-Chwale.
“As a matter of fact, ‘Sio Tatizo Tena’ campaign has managed to raise public awareness on availability and accessibility of free legal services in different parts of Dar es Salaam—through different platforms—drama, music and public performances/shows, radio jingles, mentions, interviews, social media networks.
“Basically, this crusade was meant to ensure that the messages of free legal aid services, how to access these services, are aggressively taken across the country, down to the rural settings,” said Rugambo.


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