Tanzania’s judiciary is widely regarded as largely independent, and there has been little factual evidence of government interference in the judicial process. Nevertheless, both law enforcement bodies and judicial organisations are historically chronically underfunded and have stood accused of being open to manipulation by the political and commercial elite.
This is merely exacerbated by the fact that judges are political appointees, making them vulnerable to political pressure and influence (Freedom House, 2017). In recent decades, Tanzania is believed to have experienced extensive manipulation of its legal system.
- While independence of the judiciary is enshrined in the constitution, the executive still dominates, largely due to its ability to appoint the Chief Justice, the judges of both the highest and second-highest courts and determines its budget (Global Integrity, 2017).
- Due to this high level of political exposure, the judiciary remains highly susceptible to political pressure.
- Furthermore, low salaries and a lack of resources further encourages corruption and rent-seeking behaviour – particularly in the lower courts – further eroding public confidence in the country’s judicial system.