Q&A – 11 July 2016

Receiver to inform TRA of appointment

I was appointed as a Receiver in a company few months back and have been informed by the Tanzania Revenue Authority that I should have notified them of my appointment. Is that a legal requirement as the Companies Act is silent on this?
RK, Dar

The newly enacted Tax Administration Act in section 66 makes it mandatory to inform the TRA of your appointment within 14 days of such appointment.

The TRA may also then serve you a notice specifying an amount that appears to be sufficient to provide for any tax due or that will become due by the company.

As Receiver, and after liquidating the company, you must ensure that subject to any debts having priority over the tax referred to in the TRA notice, the tax amount is remitted to the TRA.

Should you fail to set aside an amount as required by the TRA, you will be personally liable to pay to the TRA on account of the company, although you can then claim this back from the company.

Expropriation legal in Tanzania

We have been threatened many a times by one of the authorities that they will expropriate our assets because we apparently got a very good deal in an agreement we signed with the government. Infact, the agreement is quite standard but we are constantly being threatened. The authority says that the expropriation is provided under Tanzania law and in the 1970’s Tanzania has done so, and can do this again.
UP, Dar

It is a known fact that when Tanzania nationalized companies and assets in the 1970’s and 1980’s the economy was grounded. Tanzania has learnt its lesson and there has never been any expropriation since.

Infact the Tanzania Investment Act provides for a guarantee against expropriation, which can only be done in the interest of the public and under due process of the law and after full compensation is given, and not otherwise.

Section 22 of this Act states that (l) Subject to subsection (2) and (3) of this section- (a) no business enterprise shall be nationalised or expropriated by the Government, and (b) no person who owns, whether wholly or in part, the capital of any business enterprise shall be compelled by law to cede his interest in the capital to any other person. (2) There shall not be any acquisition, whether wholly or in part of a business enterprise to which this Act applies by the State unless the acquisition is under the due process of law which makes provision for- (a) payment of fair, adequate and prompt compensation, and (b) a right of access to the Court or a right to arbitration for the determination of the investor’s interest or right and the amount of compensation to which he is entitled. (3) Any compensation payable under this section shall be paid promptly and authorisation for its repatriation in convertible currency, where applicable, shall be issued.

Test pre marriage before marriage

I am in love with a girl but am scared of marriage. I have heard all about how girls turn around when they get married. Both of us have agreed to have a test pre marriage before the marriage which will have a lock out period of two years in which we cannot marry anyone else. In some countries this is allowed. Can we do this in Tanzania?
JE, Dar

This is the first time we are hearing of a test pre marriage before a marriage. We are quite confused as to what you can achieve with this test pre marriage and what additional rights and obligations you want to impose on each other. The lock out period sounds like an employment or sale of asset agreement, not like a marriage agreement that is supposed to be entered into with unconditional love.

Our laws do not provide for anything like this. We are also unsure if the laws of other countries have such provisions. The closest we can think of is an engagement which is an intention to get married.

You might need to both have more trust in yourselves, perhaps get engaged and decide on whether you want to get married. This lock out clause is very likely not enforceable as you cannot deprive one of their rights to marry who they want to.

Two boyfriends, one child

I admit that I had two boyfriends and became pregnant with one of them. They have now come to know about my parallel relationships and are pointing fingers at each other saying what I did was illegal. I kind of know who the father is but am confused as to how to go about proving this. What should I do? Can I force the father to marry me?
WP, Mtwara

We are sorry to hear about the confusion but understand the stress you are going through. While morally it usually not appropriate to have two simultaneous relationships, legally, atleast with the facts you have provided, you have not broken the law.

To determine the biological father of the child, the Law of Child Act amongst other laws allows you to make an application into Court ordering that a DNA test be done to determine who the father of the child is. This would be an order of the Court and will give you a conclusive result.

As for marriage, you cannot force the biological father to marry you. He does become the father of your child, but can choose not to become your husband. He has the same responsibilities of being a biological father as maybe in respect of a child born in wedlock and the child, subject to religious belief of the biological father, will have such other rights devolving from the parent including a right to be an heir.