Q&A – 10 April 2023
Control of cash from Zanzibar to Mainland
I am a Zanzibari living abroad but have recently come back to Zanzibar. I would like to know the procedure a person is required to follow if he wants to enter Mainland Tanzania from Zanzibar with cash or cheque whose value exceeds USD 30,000 especially if the bearer of the cheque or holder of the cash is a citizen of Tanzania. Would the procedure be different if the bearer of the cheque or holder of the cash travels straight to Mainland Tanzania from abroad? How long does it take to clear the cheque or cash at the customs check point?
The movement of cash or bearer negotiable instruments in Mainland Tanzania is regulated by the Anti-Money Laundering Act [Cap.423 R.E 2022] and the Anti-Money Laundering (Cross Border Declaration of Currency and Bearer Negotiable Instruments) Regulations, 2016 [GN No.268 of 2016]. Our reading of section 23(1) of the Anti-Money Laundering Act and the definition of the term ‘cross border transportation’ in GN 268 of 2016, it is clear that the Act and the Regulations were meant to regulate the movement of cash and bearer negotiable instruments into or out of the territory of the United Republic of Tanzania. Since Zanzibar is part of the United Republic of Tanzania, the limitation imposed by the law for cross border movement of cash and bearer negotiable instruments cannot apply to the movement of cash or bearer negotiable instruments between Zanzibar and Mainland Tanzania. So a domestic traveler from Zanzibar to the Mainland is under no obligation to declare the bearer negotiable instrument or cash he is travelling with to the customs officer at the customs check points.
For international travelers travelling from abroad to Mainland Tanzania or Zanzibar with cash or bearer negotiable instruments whose value is equivalent to USD 10,000 or more must declare the cash or the bearer negotiable instrument to a customs officer. Please note that customs officers have powers to seize the cash or bearer negotiable instrument for the purpose of making the necessary inquiries to ascertain whether there is evidence of money laundering, terrorist financing or proliferation financing. The maximum time the customs officer can hold the cash or bearer negotiable instrument for inquiry is 14 days. After expiration of that period the bearer of the negotiable instrument or cash has the right to claim back the cash or the negotiable instrument seized by the customs officer. For individual offenders, failure to declare to the customs officer at the border point is an offence attracting a punishment of not less than TZS 100M but not exceeding TZS 500M or pay a fine equivalent to the value of cash or negotiable instrument involved whichever amount is greater or imprisonment for a term not less 3 years. In addition to the fine or imprisonment sentence, the Court must order the forfeiture of the cash or the negotiable instrument to the Government. Forfeiture of the negotiable instrument can be ordered by either ordering the accused to make payment equal to the amount stated in the negotiable instrument or ordering the accused to further endorse the instrument in favour of the Treasury.
Burial of people dying of infectious diseases
At the beginning of the Corona outbreak I could see the deceased being buried by the City Council instead of relatives transporting the dead bodies to their home villages for burial as is the custom for many tribes in Tanzania. Is there any law that bars transportation of the dead bodies of people who died of infectious diseases such as Corona and Marburg virus?
Legally transportation and burial of a dead body requires a permit from the Local Government Authority though many people don’t obey that law. However, where the deceased died of infectious diseases like Marburg or Corona virus, rule 35 of the Public Health (Waste and Human Remains Management) Regulations, 2018 strictly prohibits issuance of permits to transport or bury dead bodies of people who died of such notifiable infectious diseases. The purpose of this prohibition is to control the spread of such notifiable infectious diseases.
We understand sometimes the Government may decide to relax the law depending on the recommendation of the health experts but as a general rule, relatives are not allowed to bury or transport the bodies of people who are confirmed to have died of the infectious diseases unless there is a permission issued by the Local Authority health experts.
Plea bargaining in matters at primary courts
I have a case in the Primary Court in which I am the complainant. The accused has approached me for a plea-bargaining agreement but I don’t know what to do because in the Primary Court there is no prosecutor to guide me on the process. Can you please inform me what to do?
The plea-bargaining agreement which was introduced through section 194A of the Criminal Procedure Act does not apply in the Primary Court because section 3 of the Criminal Procedure Act expressly excludes the application of the Criminal Procedure Act in Primary Courts. You have two options. You can ask the Primary Court to transfer the case to the District Court where the Criminal Procedure Act and the plea-bargaining procedure rules will apply. Alternatively, you can agree with the accused and once he fulfils the terms and conditions of the agreement, you can proceed to withdraw the charge from the Court. This second option might be the fastest but we leave it to you to decide.