Southern Africa: Mahiga for New Teamwork Among SADC Members On Criminal Matters


The Minister for C o n s t i t u t i o n a l and Legal Affairs, Ambassador Dr Augustine Mahiga (picturd below), has joined his Southern African Development Community (SADC) counterparts and Attorney Generals (AGs) in the region in pushing for efficiency on regional protocol on criminal issues.

Dr Mahiga who led the Tanzanian delegation to a meeting that took place in Windhoek, Namibia on Friday, was involved in discussions and ultimately calling for better cooperation and adeptness in SADC Protocol on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters and Protocol on Extradition. 11 SADC countries were represented.

A communiqué released by the ministry detailing events in the meeting, had it that ministers responsible for legal affairs agreed to present to the SADC Secretariat important information regarding their respective countries, so that each country is aware of each other’s central authority and a focal point in such matters so as to ease applications and operations.

Each minister will see to it that their country prepares a register to illustrate implemented applications and costs thereof as well as confidence of the said information.

The ministers heard that there has been collaboration in supporting each other in matters of justice and criminal among SADC member countries. However, it was revealed that teamwork has been limited due to different challenges that might become history or reduced if the ministers’ proposals to the secretariat are worked upon properly.

The ministers discussed and agreed on different corresponding issues among member countries on procedures in harmonisation and authentication of legal documents that are issued by member states.

The meeting discussed procedures for recognition and enforcement of judgments from foreign jurisdictions. The ministers ordered AGs from respective SADC governments to identify and show what and how SADC countries’ laws provide in recognising judgments delivered from within the bloc and present the same in the next meeting.

Namibian Minister for Legal Affairs, Mr Sakeus Shanghala who is also the Chairman of SADC Legal Affairs Ministers and AGs officiated the meeting. He noted that for peace, security and development to prevail in the bloc, member states have to cooperate in development activities.

He called for the SADC Legal Affairs Ministerial Committee to put in place friendly legal infrastructure that would support the collaboration among member states in facing and eliminating different legal challenges.

Ministers and AGs hailed the SADC Secretariat for the good work done in registering SADC contracts and protocols to the United Nations (UN); registering SADC Trademarks to the African Regional Intellectual Property Organisation (ARIPO) and the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).

The ministers and AGs agreed that the next meeting will be held in Dar es Salaam in August this year, where Tanzania will be handed over the chairmanship. Dr Mahiga said the government was ready to take over the chair.

Minister Mahiga was accompanied by the Minister for Constitutional and Legal Affairs of Zanzibar, Mr Khamis Juma Mwalimu and the Permanent Secretary in the Mainland Ministry, Professor Sifuni Mchome.

Others in the delegation were Deputy AG, Dr Evaristo Longopa and senior officials from the ministry and AG’s office

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Publish date : 2019-04-01 06:44:38

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