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Q&A – 25 July 2016

Trafficking in humans

I am quite concerned about my neighbour who seems to bring in ladies from all across East Africa and the far east and keeps them in his house. I see men come in and out all the time. I bumped into one of the ladies at the kiosk where she was not supposed to visit but could do so as the owner was away. She told me that the owner promised jobs to them only to end up being exploited in Dar. Is this not an offence?
YU, Dar

Section 4 of the Anti Trafficking in Person Act 2008 states that a person commits an offence of trafficking in person if that person recruits, transports, transfers, harbours, provides or receives a person by means, including those done under the pretext of domestic overseas employment, training or apprenticeship, for the purpose of prostitution, pornography, sexual exploitation, forced labour, slavery, involuntary servitude or debt bondage.

The description you provided quite clearly falls under the above and this is a serious offence that can fetch the owner upto 20 years imprisonment or a fine or both.

Bank name with word central

I wish to register a name of a bank with reads Central Bank of Dar es Salaam. This name is being rejected without any known reason. How can you help?
PP, Dar

Section 63 of the Bank of Tanzania Act states that save with the written consent of the Bank of Tanzania, no bank shall be registered hereafter under the provisions of any law, by a name which includes any of the words “Central”, “State,” “Government” and” Reserve”.

Your proposed bank name has the word central which can easily be confused with the central bank of Tanzania. Hence even if you apply for consent, we believe the chance of being allowed to use this name is minimal.

Voluntary winding of a company

I want to voluntarily wind up my company as it has more liabilities than assets? Is there any law that stops me from doing so?
UD, Iringa

The Companies Act, Act No 12 of 2002 states that, where it is proposed to wind up a company voluntarily, the directors of the company or, in the case of a company having more than two directors, the majority of the directors, may, at a meeting of the directors make a declaration in the prescribed form to the effect that they have made a full inquiry into the affairs of the company, and that, having so done, they have formed the opinion that the company will be able to pay its debts in full within such period not exceeding twelve months from the commencement of the winding up as may be specified in the declaration.

Hence, and as one would expect, a company which has more liabilities than assets cannot be voluntarily wound up by the members of the company. Such company can only be wound up by order of the Court.

If you attempt to do so, you may be criminally liable. For further legal assistance, please consult your attorney.

Honeymoon and marriage

I want to have a secret marriage ceremony and I don’t want any person to attend our wedding. Is this allowed under Tanzanian law? Are honeymoon’s compulsory after marriage? My wife insists that it is a condition to marriage.
TK, Dar

The Law of Marriage Act, 1971 states that, any member of the public may attend a marriage in civil form so far as the accommodation in the office of the district registrar may reasonably permit. Further to that, any person who is a follower of the religion according to the rites of which a marriage is contracted may attend that marriage. Also, any member of the community to which the parties or either of them belong may attend a marriage contracted in Islamic form or according to rites recognized by customary law.

From the above, no marriage can be contracted in secrecy under Tanzanian law. The best you can hope for is that, no one shows up during the proceedings of the marriage either at the Registrar’s office or at the public place of worship, wherever you choose to get married.

As for a honeymoon, we have checked our statutes and this word does not appear anywhere. It is surely not a condition subsequent to marriage. Our research reveals that honeymoon is the traditional holiday taken by newlyweds to celebrate their marriage in intimacy and seclusion. Today, honeymoons are often celebrated in destinations considered exotic and/or romantic.

This is the period when newlywed couples take a break to share some private and intimate moments that helps establish love in their relationship. This period provide them opportunity to know each other in a soothing environment. This privacy in turn is believed to ease the comfort zone towards a physical relationship, which is one of the primary means of bonding during the initial days of marriage.

Hence it is entirely your choice if you want to go on a honeymoon or not. The law does not force you to but perhaps your wife will have such an expectation. It is the expectation of your wife that you have to manage. We wish you good luck.

Offence when out on parole

My uncle was found guilty of robbery and sentenced to 10 years in jail. After the 6th year he was released on parole. Two years ago, he was arrested again for a minor offence and sentenced to one year in imprisonment. It is now the second year and he is not being released. How can they hold him for more than the one year?
HJ, Moshi

Your uncle was likely released under the Parole Boards Act for which he qualified after having served atleast half of the 10 years he was sentenced. One of the key conditions of release under the Parole Boards Act is that if he is arrested and imprisoned again after he is released on parole, than he will not only serve the new sentence for which he is now arrested, but also serve the remaining of the period for which he was granted parole.

Hence your uncle will in addition to having served the one year will now have to serve the 4 years that he had not served in his original sentence of ten years. This might not be the reply you wanted from us but sadly it is what the law states. Your lawyer can guide you further.