Analysis of "Dispensing Justice." A poem by Charles Mloka

Dispensing Justice is one of the poems in The Wonderful Surgeon and Other Poems for the 'Advanced Level English language Paper Two'. Read Poetic TerminologiesHow to Read a Poem and How to Analyse a Poem before reading and analysing the poem below: 

Dispensing Justice
By Charles Mloka 
Where there is justice truth is inseparable,
Where there is fair decision there is objectivity,
When you adjudicate always observe facts,
To do otherwise,
Your judgment will be influenced by hypocrisy,
If you entertain friendliness,
There is the likelihood of miscarriage of justice,
When the case comes before you,
Exercise the right to be heard to all parties,
Allow them to adduce their evidence,
Give them more time to cross examine each other,
Interfere in the game like an umpire,
To ensure that the rules are observed,
Call more witnesses to support evidence,
When you come to decision judge according to facts,
Note that dispensing justice is not an easy meal,
If you decide wrongly blames will be apportioned to you,
Always avoid summoning one party to a hearing,
Unless you have good reasons to do so,
Making decision in the absence of the other;
There is likelihood of bias in your judgment,
By basing your findings on one party,
While the wrongdoer might be the other party,
In dispensing justice consider all parties.

Charles Mloka was born in Arusha, Tanzania. He attended primary and secondary education between 1965 and 1975. He studied Bachelor of Laws (LLB) and Master of Laws (LLM) from the University of Dar es Salaam. He worked as clerk Assistant in the Parliament of Tanzania from 1998-2006. Currently, he is the Assistant Director in the Hansard Department of the Parliament of Tanzania.
The title of the poem is direct as it reflects the contents of the poem itself. It talks about the well and balanced provision of justice to all.
The poem is about giving fair and balanced provision of justice, rights, and other treatments to the people. The poet tells about how a judge, a government servant, private sector servant, and any person can fairly give equal justice to the two parts that are in conflict or disagreement.
The persona of the poem is angry. He is angry with the leaders or civil servants who do not dispense justice equally and fairly.
The addressee is the community which experiences social unrest, lawlessness, and inequality in the provision of rights and other opportunities.
[6] TONE 
The tone of the poet is serious.
[7] MOOD 
The mood of the poem is serious.
The structure of the poem is simple. The poem has one stanza of 24 lines.
The type of the poem is lyric poem. It expresses strong feelings of the poet and it is short.
The sound devices applied in the poem are as follows:
(1) Repetition. The poet has repeated the words like ‘justice’ and ‘judgment’ to emphasize the point in the poem.
The poet has used simple language to make reader understand the meaning of the poem. The poet has also applied some figures of speech like;
(1) Simile. “Interfere in the game like an umpire”.
[12] THEMES 
The themes of the poem are:
(1) Hypocrisy. “Your judgment will be influenced by hypocrisy”.
(2) Nepotism. “If you entertain friendliness”.
Injustice. “There is likelihood of miscarriage of justice”.
(3) Freedom of speech. “Exercise the right to be heard to all parties”.
(4) Corruption and bribery. “Always avoid summoning one party to a hearing”.
(5) Oppression. “Making decision in the absence of the other”.
(6) Inequality. “By basing your findings on one party.”
(7) Irresponsibility. “There is likelihood of bias in your judgment”.
The message of the poem is that the justice is a right that is given to all people.
What we learn from the poem is that the courts, lawyers, judges, magistrates and other servants who decide on the law or conflict should fairly decide without being influenced by any things. They should concentrate on their profession, not on bribery, nepotism or individualism.
The poem is relevant to our contemporary societies. It tells the issues that are common to our societies. In our societies, for example, there are people who unfairly decide on various cases or problems when they are under the influence of bribery, nepotism, or individualism.

Other analysed poems from this selection are:

Mloka, C (2007) The Wonderful Surgeon and Other Poems, Mkuki na Nyota, Dar es Salaam.

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