Q&A – 14 November 2016

Public Procurement Act applicability

Our company entered into an agreement with a public entity for the development of a farm jointly where the public entity contributed the land and I have invested all the money, and we share the profits based on a certain formula. There is now a company that is challenging this arrangement in that it was not tendered. The public entity has not spent a penny in the investment and I fail to understand if this was to be tendered. 
FF, Mtwara

Our law requires that a public entity must ensure it gets value for deals it enters into. The Public Procurement Act 2011 in section 63 states that (1) all public procurement and disposal by tender shall be conducted in accordance with the basic principles set out in this Act. (2) Subject to this Act all procurement and disposal shall be conducted in a manner that maximizes competition and achieve economy, efficiency, transparency and value for money.

Section 47 of this Act also states that procuring entities shall, in the execution of their duties, strive to achieve the highest standards of equity, taking into account- (a) equality of opportunity to all tenderers; (b) fairness of treatment to all parties; and (c) the need to obtain the best value for money in terms of price, quality and delivery having regard to set specifications and criteria.

Whilst we do not have all details, it seems that your joint venture arrangement falls foul of the Public Procurement Act. Your lawyers can guide you further.

Living together when unmarried

A former boyfriend of my current girlfriend has come back from overseas and threatening me with action.  I am not sure what to do. Is there anything wrong I am doing? What kind of action can be taken when a man and woman, out of their own freewill, are living together? Do we have to be married to live together and have a relation? Can only a married couple live together? What should I do?
BB, Dar

We have read your question which is very interesting. In the absence of knowing who you are or having your number to call you, we are construing your words ‘threatening to take action’ as meaning threatening to file a law suit against you. In the event that it is a physical threat our simple response is to report this to the police as it becomes a criminal matter.

Is there a law that bars an unmarried couple to live together? Our answer is in the negative- the law does not disallow such a relationship. There is case law from other countries including the United Kingdom that supports what we are saying. One of the most recent case laws that we came across, with facts very similar to yours, is an Indian decision in which the Supreme Court had to decide on whether a live in relationship which included pre marital sex was an offence. The Justices queried on what offence it was for two adult people to live together and the Court concluded that there was no law which prohibits live in relationship or pre marital sex. The justices further concluded that living together is a right to life.

You might be confusing morality with legality. Whether it is moral or not to have pre marital sex and live together is not a legal question and we, as legal practitioners, are least qualified to answer that part.

Our response to your question would be different if you were living with a married woman and the husband decided to take action against you.

First right of refusal, tenant in property

I have been a tenant in a property for the past many years. Three months ago I was served with a notice to vacate the premises on grounds that the property had been sold. Is there no law that the landlord should have offered it to me before selling it in the market?
MV, Mwanza

As per the Land laws in Tanzania, there is no legal provision which puts the landlord under obligation to sell his/her property to the existing tenant unless that has been specifically provided for in the tenancy agreement, which is rare. If your tenancy agreement has a right to buy, or right to refusal clause, then depending on the wording of the clause, you may be able to challenge the sale of the property and not otherwise.

If your landlord is a public body, the requirements of advertising and tendering must be met. If that condition has not been met, you may also challenge the sale. Furthermore, though the property has been sold, your right to stay remains as per the terms and conditions in the tenancy agreement. You should read the termination clause of the tenancy agreement for further guidance.

Traffic fine paid, stopped again

I was given a ticket to pay a fine for a traffic offence which I accepted and paid for at the bank. I was again recently stopped by another traffic police who had a list of those who had not paid. After having spent an hour arguing I was forced to repay the fine and a penalty. Can I be charged twice?
TY, Dar

If you have truly paid, you cannot be charged twice. You can report this to the head of traffic and claim a refund. It is trite law that a person charged once cannot be charged again for the same offence.