Q&A – 10 April 2017

Wife to be forcing honeymoon

My wife to be says that without a proper honeymoon outside the continent she is not interested in getting married to me. How can the law help me? I want this woman but cannot afford the honeymoon condition. Is it fair?
KT, Dar

We have checked our statutes and the word honeymoon does not appear anywhere. It is surely not a condition precedent or subsequent to marriage. Our research reveals that honeymoon is the traditional holiday taken by newlyweds to celebrate their marriage in intimacy and seclusion.

The only choice you have is to try and convince your to be wife that you cannot afford the honeymoon much as you would like to go for one. It is then upon her to decide whether she still wants to get married to you or not. Should she decide that she doesnt, there is nothing much you can do about it. In fact, she can change her mind until the day she signs the marriage papers, and she only becomes your wife after signing of such papers, not before.

We suggest you engage with her, make her understand your position and perhaps also consider seeking the services of a marriage counsellor. Whether her demand is fair is not is something we do not wish to comment on. Good luck.

Drunk behaviour by leaders in Dodoma

After the shift of Government to Dodoma, I have noticed that the bars are full of our public servants, some very senior, who after some time talk all kinds of rubbish as they are drunk. Is there no law that bars them from going to bars and getting drunk? Are they allowed to drink? Can I get a Court order from stopping these individuals from coming to the bars?
UR, Dodoma

We are not aware of any law, regulation, rule, code or otherwise that disallows any public servant to go to a bar and drink.

However part III paragraph 3 of the Code of Ethics for Public Servants disallows drunk behaviour and states that ‘while out of office, an employee will conduct his/her personal life in such a manner that it does not affect his/her services or bring the Public Service into disrepute. He/she is therefore required to refrain from becoming drunk, using narcotic drugs and any other unacceptable behaviour.’

We doubt if any Court will grant you an order to stop these individuals from visiting a bar. It would be quite unfair and discriminatory for a Court to rule against them in this manner.

Government document accessibility

There are certain government documents that I would like to access that date back in the 70’s and early 80’s. How do I access them and is there a statutory period within which I can access such documents?
TU, Dar

The Record and Archives Management Act of 2002 provides for the establishment of a Records and Archives Management Department whose function is to contribute to the efficiency, effectiveness and economy of the Government of the United Republic by (a) ensuring that public offices follow good record keeping practices; (b) establishing and implementing procedures for the timely disposal of public records of no continuing value; (c) advising on best practices and established standards in record keeping in the public service; and (d) establishing and implementing procedures for the transfer of public records of enduring value for preservation in the National Archives or such other archival repository as may have been established under this Act.

This Department is also entitled to receive one copy of every publication produced by the Parliament, government and higher Courts of the United Republic and of every publication and dissertation produced on the basis of archival research carried out in the United Republic, without making any payment in respect of such publications and dissertations.

When it comes to accessing records, this Act stipulates a period of 30 years from the creation of any such document after which such document can be accessed and inspected by the public, unless there are further reasons for the document(s) not to be dislosed. We recommend you contact the Director under this Act for further guidance.

Sitting place for guards

Do guards need to be provided places to sit? There is an awkward demand from our guards that they cannot be standing full time of their shift, something which our management finds hard to understand. Please guide us as we cannot allow such lethargy to exist.
OO, Dar

We would have very much liked to know what industry you are in and to understand the primitive thinking of your management. Perhaps your management should stand non stop for 8 to 10 hours a day and get a feel of what it feels like standing all the time. We are also unsure how lethargy would ‘exist’ if your guards are seated as opposed to standing all the time. Your empathy towards the guards raises a lot of ethical and legal questions.

Notwithstanding the above, the Occupational, Health and Safety Act provides that as an employer you must provide suitable seats to your workers, which includes your guards. Hence the demands by your guards is not unreasonable and you should immediately comply with the law.

Detention orders in Tanzania

Does the President in Tanzania have powers to keep someone in custody? I will be shocked if such power not been abolished todate and why not?
OI, Mwanza

The Presidents powers amongst other laws are embedded in the Emergency Powers Act. Just like similar laws exist in other countries, including the western powers, Tanzania still has bestowed wide discretionary and general powers upon the President. It must be admirably noted here that unlike other African and Western countries, the President in Tanzania has sparingly used any such powers that he possesses.

Particularly on detention, which is the arrest without trial of an individual, the Emergency Powers Act allows the President to detain someone for up to six months and a further three months.