Yesterday, 1st February, 2023; was the anniversary of what has been designated as “Law Day” in Tanzania. It may be of interest to the current stakeholders to know that the idea of designating this particular date as Tanzania’s “Law Day”, was the brainchild of the late Chief Justice Francis Nyalali and was intended to mark the commencement of the Judiciary ‘new business year’.
For that reason the celebrations were initially confined only to members of the Judiciary Branch of Government, plus the legal fraternity and were held inside one of the court rooms within the High Court Building in Dar es Salaam. In other words, this event started as a purely Judiciary ‘in-house’ affair, intended only for those who were directly concerned.
Chief Justice Nyalali had also decided to invite the Speaker of parliament to attend these occasions, in order to symbolise participation from the Legislative Branch and for that reason, he was given the leading role of being the ‘Guest of Honour’. This happened during the time when I was the Speaker of the House, circa 1996/97.
Thus, in that connection, I can vividly remember how, on one such occasion, the Chief Justice had chosen the expression “Haki sawa kwa wote” as the “kauli mbiu” for that year’s celebrations. When my invitation to attend that function arrived and I saw that; I quickly wrote back to point out that the expression “Haki sawa kawa wote” was in fact the slogan of the CIVIC UNITED FRONT political party and showed my concern that this was inappropriate for such a national event suggesting instead the use of the neutral expression “Watu wote ni sawa mbele ya sharia”, which is also used in article 13 (1) of the Constitution of the United republic. The Chief Justice promptly agreed and the