Q&A – 15 February 2016

Father objection to marriage

Can a father object that his daughter, who is of legal age, should not get married to a certain individual whom he finds ugly?
CV, Mwanza

As a mandatory condition prior to marriage, the Law of Marriage Act provides that where a man and a woman desire to marry, they shall, at least twenty-one days before the day when they propose to marry, give notice of their intention to a registrar or a registration officer. The notice must include, amongst others, the names of parties intending to get married, names of parents, place they reside, statement that they are not in a prohibited relationship, a statement whether the marriage is supposed to be polygamous or monogamous.

A person may object to the marriage only to the extent that the marriage is disllowed under the Law of Marriage Act. For example if one is married in a monogamous marriage and intends to marry again, the spouse could challenge this intended marriage.

Where a man married under a polygamous marriage has given notice of an intended marriage, his wife or, if he has more than one wife, any of his wives may give notice of objection to the registrar or registration officer to whom the notice of intention was given, on the ground that– (a) having regard to the husband’s means, the taking of another wife is likely to result in hardship to his existing wife or wives and infant children, if any; or (b) the intended wife is of notoriously bad character or is suffering from an infectious or otherwise communicable disease or is likely to introduce grave discord into the household. (3) A person who has given notice of objection may at any time withdraw it, but any such withdrawal shall be in writing, signed by him or her.

There are hardly any grounds for a father to stop his daughter from getting married, provided she is not married at the time and has attained legal marriage age of 15 years. The law does not require parental consent to get married for a girl over 15 years. It does not matter how handsome or ugly the husband to be is.

Donating to charitable organisation

We are a large industry and wish to start donating to charitable organisation in the country. Are such amounts deductible from our profit and loss statement?
LK, Dar

Yes such expenses are deductible as long as such amounts do not exceed two percent of the person’s income from the business. For the purposes of the Income Tax Act a charitable organisation means a resident entity of a public character that satisfies the following conditions: (a) the entity was established and functions solely as an organisation for: (i) the relief of poverty or distress of the public; (ii) the advancement of education; or (iii) the provision of general public health, education, water or road construction or maintenance; and (b) the entity has been issued with a ruling by the Commissioner under section 131 currently in force stating that it is a charitable organisation or religious organisation.
We have noticed that the TRA disallows, correctly so, many such amounts to charitable organisations because some of these charities are actually not even registered.

Tax exemption for oil and gas companies

Is it true that the Petroleum Act 2015 provides tax exemptions to oil and gas companies? How does one qualify?
PC, Dar
There are no automatic exemptions granted by the Petroleum Act to oil and gas companies. What you might be referring to is section 226 of the Act which grants automatic tax exemptions to the Petroleum Upstream Regulatory Authority (PURA) which states that PURA shall be exempted from payment of import and other duties, taxes and levies in respect of its operations, capital, properties, documents or any other transactions, deeds, agreements, fees or promissory note in accordance with the relevant tax laws.

(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), employees of PURA shall be liable to pay relevant taxes in accordance with any other relevant laws.

Fighting case in wrong Court

My lawyer instituted certain proceedings at the Resident Magistrate’s Court which after 3 years decided that it had no jurisdiction. I am now time barred from filing this case at the High Court since it is a tortious action and the time limit is 3 years. What should I do? I have lost my claim even without fighting for it?
IL, Dar

The Law of Limitation Act provides for this stating that in computing the period of limitation prescribed for any suit, the time during which the plaintiff has been prosecuting, with due diligence, another civil proceeding, whether in a Court of first instance or in a Court of appeal, against the defendant, shall be excluded, where the proceeding is founded upon the same cause of action and is prosecuted in good faith in a Court which, from defect of jurisdiction or other cause of a like nature, is incompetent to entertain it. You are therefore not time barred and can proceed file the case.

Extractive industries disclosures

How can I find out about shareholding and local content planning of oil and gas players in Tanzania?
YT, Dar

Under the Tanzania Extractive Industries (Transparency and Accountability) Act 2015, and in order to ensure transparency and accountability in extractive industries, the Committee established under this law shall cause the Minister to publish- (a) in a website or through a media which is widely accessible all concessions, contracts and licences relating to extractive industry, (b) names of individual shareholders who own interests in the extractive industry companies, (c) implementation of environmental management plans and (d) implementation reports
We believe such a committee has not yet been formed. An alternative is for you to do a search of shareholding of the company at BRELA.