Q&A – 1 April 2024

Law enforcement attire in a play

I am a university student studying fine and performing arts at one of the universities in Tanzania. At the end of last semester, students in my degree programme were required to perform a play before a departmental committee as part of a lecture assignment. One of the groups in my class performed a play titled ‘police and society.’ In doing so, several students in the group decided to dress as police officers. This made the play exciting and even the lecturers were impressed by their commitment to bring the police characters to life. It was no surprise that the group outperformed all of us.  Unfortunately, some of these students were later arrested and convicted after an unidentified person reported them. What does the law say about this?
EM, Dar es Salaam

We are sorry to hear about this incident. It is true that wearing a uniform or attire of law enforcement organs is an offence. Section 178(1) of the Penal Code [CAP. 16 R.E. 2022] states that any person who, not being a person serving in the Defence Forces of the United Republic or in any police force or any law enforcement organ established by law, wears without the permission of the President the uniform of any of those forces or any attire having the appearance or bearing any of the regimental or other distinctive marks of such uniform or attire is guilty of an offence and liable to imprisonment for 1 month or to a fine of TZS 50,000.However, the law provides an exception. The cited section states further that nothing in this section shall prevent any person from wearing any uniform or attire in the course of a stage play performed in any place in which stage plays may lawfully be publicly performed, or in the course of a music hall or circus performance, or in the course of any bona fide military representation. In that regard, if what you have said is true, then your classmates did not commit any crime. Unless you are withholding information from us, we do not find a reason for their arrest and conviction.

Passenger Briefing in Aircraft

I am a businesswoman based in Mwanza and travel a lot due to the nature of my business. Most of the time I prefer flying because it fits with my tight schedule. I have noticed that pilots and crew in aircrafts usually brief passengers on safety measures and other important information. Last week I was however surprised. An airline, whose name I prefer to withhold, had a very unusual practice. There was no briefing save for the requirement to fasten our seat belts.  It was my first time flying with them so I was a bit shocked that such practice exists at all. Is it permissible for a commercial aircraft to operate this way in Tanzania? Please guide me.
SF, Mwanza

Commercial airlines operating in Tanzania are regulated by both local and international guidelines. In the case of Tanzania, the Civil Aviation Act Cap. 80 and the Regulations made under the Act provide legal guidance for aircraft operators, passengers and other related parties. In addition, Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority is the primary regulatory authority on civil aviation matters.

The specific and relevant Regulation applicable to your question is the Civil Aviation (Operation of Aircraft – Commercial Air Transport) Regulations, GN No. 12 of 2024 (the Regulations). According to Regulation 48(1) A pilot-in-command shall not commence a takeoff unless the passengers are briefed prior to take off in accordance with the air operator certificate holder’s operations manual procedures on smoking limitations and prohibitions; emergency exit location and use; use of safety belts; emergency floatation means location and use; location and the general manner of use of the principal emergency equipment for collective use; fire extinguisher location and operation; placement of seat backs; if flight is above 12,000 feet above mean sea level, the normal and emergency use of oxygen; and the passenger briefing card.

Further, the Pilot-in-command shall ensure that the passengers are briefed to keep their seat belts fastened while seated when the seat belt sign is turned on. In addition, the pilot-in-command before take-off shall ensure that persons of reduced mobility are personally briefed on the route to the most appropriate exit; and time to begin moving to the exit in the event of an emergency. It is important that the briefing is made to passengers as required by the law. We advise that you report the said aircraft operator to the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority for further handling of the matter.

Break at work

We are employees working for a hospital in one of the districts in Dodoma. Due to the scarcity of medical personnel, we usually do not have breaks and this can be very exhausting. We have talked to the hospital management without any positive outcome. What does the law say about breaks at work?
EU, Dodoma

We are sorry to hear about your situation. It is true, working without a break is exhausting and affects the overall productivity in the workplace. The Employment and Labour Relations Act [Cap. 366 R.E. 2019] requires an employer to provide a break to an employee. Section 23(1) of the Act states that an employer shall give an employee who works continuously for more than 5 hours a break of at least 60 minutes.  Where it is impossible to do so an employer may require an employee to work during a break only if the work cannot be left unattended or cannot be performed by another employee.  Further, an employer shall not be obliged to pay an employee for the period of a break unless the employee is required to work, or to be available for work, during the break. We do not know if you are paid to work during the denied break but it is something for you to also consider.