AJISO strive for equal Justice for all

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Lack of legal knowledge and education opportunities to know ones legal rights are challenges in Rural Tanzania. Most villagers have little or no understanding of their basic constitutional rights. This becomes more challenging when traditional customs are in opposition of citizen’s legal rights.

Action for Justice in society (AJISO) is an organization that is dedicated to educating the public on their basic human rights and assisting them with the necessary knowledge and legal aid. Since 2006 AJISO has trained various members of the community into becoming paralegals. They have also conducted numerous workshops and seminars all around the Moshi area, where they work.

Ester Kibanda, a lawyer working for AJISO, says they have given training to a number of individuals who wanted to become paralegals and assist in their communities with legal matters. Ms Kibanda said ‘This has been a fruitful project, training some community members to become paralegals helped people to access legal assistance easily and fast. The trained individuals offer legal help to villagers who would have otherwise have to travel far to seek help.

In some parts of rural Moshi cases of spousal abuse, land grabbing, inheritance issues and marital problems are common. Felister Desderi lives in Rombo, at a village called Manda Juu, on the East side of Moshi. She is a victim of spousal abuse, from her alcoholic husband, and recently received help from paralegals in her area, who were trained by AJISO.

Luckily for Felister, she heard about the paralegals at her community meeting when she went to report the latest beatings from her husband to John Faustin Mrina, the secretary of the paralegal team. She was introduced to Mrs. Ndewaulwa, who is a trained paralegal working closely with the AJISO. After going through her case, they went and filed a report against Felister’s husband who was taken into police custody and appeared in front of the local magistrate. After pleading guilty to all counts of abuse he was sentenced to 3 months in prison.

Having paralegals in Rombo District has been successful and AJISO would like to train more paralegals for other areas. At present AJISO tries to reach more people by participating on local radio programs. On Moshi FM they are regularly invited on programs called, ‘The Voice of a Women’ and ‘Law Corner’. On Kili FM they participate on the ‘Sunset Show’, this program has many segments and they appear in the segment that discusses social issues. All the shows are live and listeners can call and have their questions answered live on air.


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