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Tanzania mulls over translating laws from English into Kiswahili

President John Magufuli called for amendments to the laws and regulations to accommodate Kiswahili as the language in delivery of court judgments. File Photo

Dar es salaam, Tanzania | Xinhua | Tanzanian authorities mull over declaring Kiswahili as the official language of the laws and the language used in the administration and dispensation of justice instead of English.

A bill that proposes to amend the Interpretation of Laws Act to declare Kiswahili the language of the laws of the country was handed out to Members of Parliament in the capital Dodoma on Thursday.

The bill said the use of Kiswahili in laws of the country will facilitate access to justice for all Tanzanians.

This bill to be submitted to the National Assembly at a later date has been published for general information to the public.

According to the bill, the proposed amendment is necessitated in cognizance of the use of Kiswahili as a national language vastly used in the day-to-day activities.

Stephen Kagaigai, Clerk of the National Assembly, said in a public notice on Thursday that the standing parliamentary committee on constitution and legal affairs will hold a public hearing on the proposed amendments to be held in the capital Dodoma on Friday.

Early this month, President John Magufuli called for amendments to the laws and regulations to accommodate Kiswahili as the language in delivery of court judgments.

Magufuli asked the Judiciary and the Ministry of Constitutional and Legal Affairs to make necessary amendments to the existing laws to incorporate the national language, Kiswahili, in judicial matters.

He said it was important to deliver court judgments at all levels in Kiswahili, which is a common language to all Tanzanians.

The president said it was dismaying that 60 years after independence, the Judiciary of Tanzania has continued to write and deliver judgments in English, which is a colonial inherited system.

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Xinhua

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