Q&A – 14 September 2020

Fake EFD receipt

My uncle is a supplies officer working for one of the public parastatals. He is being accused of forgery of an EFD receipt which he submitted to his accounting officer purporting to show that he bought stationeries worth TZS 10M from one of their suppliers. An inquiry done by the Corporation revealed that my uncle never bought the stationeries. Furthermore, the EFD receipt he submitted to his accounting officer was submitted to the TRA for verification but they claimed that it does not appear to have been issued from their system. Can someone be charged with forgery of an electronic print out which is not manually written or signed by him?
YU, Morogoro

Section 333 of the Penal Code [Cap. 16 R.E 2019] defines forgery as making of a false document with intent to deceive or defraud. It does not matter that the falsification of the document was done by using electronic device or manually. False signature is just one of the methods of forging a document. Under section 335(a) of the Penal Code, a person can be held guilty of forgery by making of false document whether the false particulars are inserted in the document manually or by using any electronic device. What makes the document forged under section 335(a) of the Penal Code is proof that it contains false contents.

Forgery can be proved by circumstantial evidence without seeking aid of a handwriting expert. Once the document is found to have false contents in that it purports to be what it is not, anybody who is proved to have tendered such document or found in possession of it is deemed to be its author unless he gives reasonable explanation as to how he got it.

And even if it is proved that he solicited someone to issue him such receipt which contains false contents, he can still be held criminally liable together with the person who issued it. In law, counseling a person to commit a crime amounts to committing such crime. Therefore, a person who issues a false document and the recipient of the false document are both guilty of forgery if they had knowledge of the falsity of the document and they intended to deceive or defraud.

You will need to get more facts from your uncle but it seems that the offence of forgery might have been committed.

Additional pay for work at night

I am a security guard working for a private security company. Sometimes I work at night and would like to know any additional remuneration I am entitled to for work done at night.
II, Moshi

Section 20(4) of the Employment and Labour Relations Act, 2004 requires an employer to pay an employee 5% of the employee’s hourly basic wage for each hour worked at night. This means that when you work at night you are paid 5% of your hourly wage in addition to your common hourly basic wage. If your salary is paid monthly, the First Schedule to Employment and Labour Relations Act, provides the formula of converting the monthly wage into hourly wage. You take your monthly wage divide by 433 times the number of hours ordinarily worked each week.

The ordinary number of working hours in a day are nine. Hence if you work at night more than nine hours, the employer must pay 5% of the hourly gross wage as night allowance for each night hour worked and in addition to that he shall pay overtime allowance for each extra hour worked at night. The rate of overtime allowance might be in the collective bargaining agreement, the government notice or government circular or the company policy, as the case maybe. Extra hours worked at night attract 5% more overtime allowance. You will notice that the extra hours worked at night are more expensive to the employer than the extra hours worked during the day time.

Pregnant in jail

My cousin was accused of murder of her former house maid in 2015. In 2019, while in remand prison, she got involved with a police officer and she is pregnant. The little I know is that if a person is convicted of murder, she/he is sentenced to death by hanging as a mandatory punishment. Much as I feel sorry for my cousin, my greatest concern is on the unborn child who has not done any wrong. I just want to know if my cousin will be hanged or they will wait until she delivers.
PP, Dar

We are very sorry for what is going on with your cousin. Indeed section 197 of the Penal Code, Cap. 16 [R.E. 2019] makes it clear that a person convicted of murder shall be sentenced to death.

However, the same section in its proviso exempts pregnant women from such a punishment. The said section stipulates that, ‘if a woman convicted of an offence punishable with death is alleged to be pregnant, the Court shall inquire into the fact and, if it is proved to the satisfaction of the Court that she is pregnant the sentence to be passed on her shall be a sentence of imprisonment for life instead of a sentence to death.’

Bid seal in tender opened prematurely

Our company applied for a large tender for road construction. When the bids were opened we found that our tender seal had been tampered with and envelope open. Is this not a serious issue?
IT, Dar

If the tender seal was opened, the tender may be cancelled. However, this will depend on the circumstances and the evidence that can be led.

Assuming you are correct, the person who opened the seal is guilty of an offence as provided under the Public Procurement Act which states that a person who opens any sealed tender, including such tenders as may be submitted through electronic system and any document required to be sealed, or divulge their contents prior to the appointed time for the public opening of the tender documents commits an offence and on conviction shall be liable to a fine of not less than TZS 10M or to imprisonment for a term of not less than seven years or to both, and in addition to the penalty imposed in this section, the Court shall order that the amount of loss incurred by the complainant be compensated, failure of which, the Court shall issue an order of confiscation of personal property of the person convicted in order to recover the loss.