Q&A – 13 June 2022

Employee dies on way from office party

My uncle died on the spot in a car accident at night when he was driving back home from an office party that was organised by his employer. Police visited the scene of the accident and made a report which showed that the accident was attributed to the deceased driving under the influence of alcohol. I was depending on my uncle for costs of my university education and now I am helpless. Can you guide me on the following questions: (i) Since my uncle died after working hours but he was coming from an office party, is he covered by the Workers Compensation Fund (WCF)?; (ii) Does WCF cover a dependent like me who is above the age of 18 years and not a child of the deceased?; (iii) In view of the police accident investigation report that the accident was attributed to the deceased driving under the influence of alcohol, is WCF liable to pay any benefit to the deceased dependents?; (iv) Does the law limit the number of dependents who are entitled to be paid by WCF?
AS, Dar es Salaam

WCF’s benefits cover death of an employee if the accident that caused death occurred when the employee was acting for the purpose of or in the interest of or in connection with the business of the employer. Because the party was an office party organised by the employer and the deceased died in an accident on his way back home from the party, he is deemed to have died in the accident while he was in the course of his employment irrespective of the time of accident. It is not the nature of the hours the accident occurred that is used to determine whether the employee was involved in the accident while in the course of employment or not. It is the nature of the business the deceased was attending or going to attend at the place where he was coming from or going to at the time of accident which is used to test if the accident occurred in the course of employment or not.

Since your uncle was acting as a parent in paying the costs of your education, he is, under section 4(d) of the Workers Compensation Act [Cap.263 R.E 2015] deemed to be your parent. Because you were partly or wholly depending on him financially to support your education, you are entitled to benefits offered by the WCF as the dependent of the deceased. The law recognises a student who is above the age of 18 years as a dependent if he wholly or partly depended on the deceased employee at the time of his death. The Workers’ Compensation Act does not limit the number of dependents who are entitled to the benefits offered by the WCF. However, where the employee dies and he is survived by two or more dependents, compensation payable to the dependents shall not exceed the lump sum of pension which would have been payable if the employee had left only one dependent. The same amount that would have been paid to the deceased had he left one dependent is shared by all the dependents left by the deceased.

Section 19(2) of the Workers’ Compensation Act provides the general rule that if the accident is attributable to willful or serious misconduct of the employee, no compensation shall be payable to him or his dependents. However, there are exceptions to that general rule that if an employee dies as a result of an accident leaving behind a dependent who was wholly financially depending on the deceased or if the accident results into permanent total disablement, WCF is obliged to pay the requisite benefits despite the fact that the accident resulted from a willful act of the employee. On the basis of that exception to the general rule, the WCF is obliged to pay the benefits to the dependents though the deceased’s death was attributed to dangerous driving induced by alcohol.

Age limit for owning a gun

I own a gun and intend to buy a second one for myself, and one for my son who is 17 years old. Does the law limit the number of guns that one person can own and can a person who is under the age of 18 years own a gun in Tanzania?
LF, Musoma

Under the Firearms and Ammunition Control Regulations, 2016 a private person cannot be licenced to possess more than one pistol or shotgun or more than two rifles of different calibres. You can only be licenced to possess the second gun if the first gun you possess is a rifle but if it is a pistol, you cannot be licenced to possess the second one.

On age limitation for possession of a gun, section 11 of the Firearms and Ammunition Control Act, 2015 prescribes qualifications for owning a gun in Tanzania. One of the conditions is that the applicant for a firearm licence should be not less than 25 years old at the time of applying for the licence. In addition to the age requirement, the applicant should have a competency certificate showing that he has undergone training on the use and safe handling of firearms at an approved Government or private institution. Other conditions that the applicant should meet are that he must be citizen of Tanzania or should be a holder of a Tanzania residence permit; be mentally stable and not inclined to violence; is not dependent on drug or any substance which has intoxicating or narcotic effect; should not have a conviction record and has not been declared unfit to possess a firearm due to recklessness, old age or any other disability. Since your son is under the age of 25 years, he is legally disqualified from possessing a firearm.