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Q&A – 4 September 2017

Flying to international space centre

I have a new cheaper way to fly to the international space centre and want to know whether I can be stopped by anyone. From my reading this is an object in no man’s land and every human has the right to go out into space and to the space centre. When I pass immigration in Dar what should I tell them?
EL, Dar

We have received a number of your space questions and believe that we answered one about a year ago. Unfortunately you have about 20 pending difficult space questions most of which are not legal in nature and hence we have not answered them. We have however selected this one question that has a legal component.

To begin with the international space centre was funded by the US, Russia, Canada and some other countries. No African country including Tanzania have funded this, and understandably so. Hence you have no automatic right to just walk in there. We are also not sure how you intend to get there, and if you have devised a new way of cheaply getting into space, then we recommend you contact both the American and Russian space agencies, amongst others, as they will be interested in this new invention of yours. You should also consider a patent so that no one can steal your invention.

The Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, Including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies states that all space exploration will be done with good intentions and is equally open to all States that comply with international law. No one nation may claim ownership of outer space or any celestial body. Activities carried out in space must abide by the international law and the nations undergoing these said activities must accept responsibility for the governmental or non-governmental agency involved. Objects launched into space are subject to their nation of belonging, including people. Objects, parts, and components discovered outside the jurisdiction of a nation will be returned upon identification. If a nation launches an object into space, they are responsible for any damages that occur internationally.

From our research, which we recommend you also verify, we believe Tanzania has not signed the above treaty. Nonetheless we believe that the treaty would likely apply to Tanzania if you decided to go up there. Hence, whilst you might not be automatically welcome to the international space station, you are free to go to space if you have the means, which you claim you do have.

PCCB order for documents

We are investors in Tanzania and have been asked by the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) to supply them with our contracts entered in Tanzania and also appear in person before them. Is this not the police’s job and is it mandatory for our CEO to appear. These contracts are confidential and we cannot disclose them. Please guide.
FK, Dar

The PCCB is established under the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Act which is a penal statute that deals inter alia with corruption matters. The PCCB is hence independent from the police and specially empowered to investigate corruption matters. Section 10 of this act states that (1) An officer of the Bureau investigating an offence under this Act may-(a) order any person to attend before him for the purpose of being interviewed orally or in writing in relation to any matter which may assist investigation of the offence; (b) order any person to produce any book, document or any certified copy thereof, and any article which may assist the investigation of the offence; or (c) by written notice, require any person to furnish a statement on oath or affirmation setting out such information which may be of assistance in the investigation of the offence. (2) Subject to the direction of the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Director General may assume prosecution commenced by the police or any other law enforcement agency for an offence involving corruption.

A plain reading of section 10 above clearly allows any officer of the PCCB to demand any document. This act hence overrides any confidentiality clauses in your contracts and you must release these documents to the PCCB. Should you not cooperate or not release the documents, you will be committing an offence and could face imprisonment.

Beehive in neighborhood

My neighbour has placed a number of beehives in a tree whose shade gets into my house. I am very conscious about my beauty and thus use perfumes and lotion with strong scents. I am worried the bees might attack me because of this scent. What can I do legally?
LJ, Arusha

The law which provides for beehive keeping is the Beekeeping Act, 2002 (the Act) and it protects equally those with or without beauty. This law states that if the Director or authorized officer is satisfied that in particular premises the keeping of bees or a number of beehives are public nuisance or a danger to public health or Public safety; or for any other specified reason, those premises are unsuitable for beekeeping, he may, by order served on the person who is keeping the beehives prohibit the keeping of bees on those Premises; or order the said person to keep a specified number of beehives on the said premises.

If the person does not implement the order of the Director or authorized officer, the Act states that, where the Director or an authorized officer is satisfied that a person has failed to comply with directives contained in an order under the Director or the authorized officer, this shall be reported to Court. Hence based on the above, you can report your concern to the Director regulating the Bee keepers.

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