Q&A – 15 May 2017

Economic offence and seizure of property

If a person is charged with an economic offence, apart from being sentenced can the Court confiscate his properties?
OL, Dar

Under the Economic and Organised Crimes Control Act, where the Court convicts a person of any economic offence, it may make any order in respect of the property of that person including forfeiture. The Court shall not make an order for the forfeiture of the property of any person convicted of an economic offence if the property in question or any part of it is not proved to have been involved at all in the commission or facilitation of the offence.

Law only mentions males not females

There is a Tanzanian law that mentions only the male gender and totally ignores the females who should be equally bound by the law. Is such a law, that is only targetted to males not discriminatory? As a male I am very upset that Tanzania is so advanced in overprotecting women.
YU, Dodoma

Tanzania is playing its part in protecting women but your interpretation in this is misconstrued. The new way of drafting a law is by using the word person, instead of ‘he.’ There are, however, some laws that are decades old which still apply but use the word ‘he’ instead of person. Vide the Interpretation of laws Act, the ‘he’ in such laws refers to both genders. Section 8 states that in any written law– (a) words importing the masculine gender include the feminine; (b) words importing the feminine gender include the masculine; (c) words in the singular number include the plural and words in the plural number include the singular. Hence the law is not discriminatory as it applies to both genders although the male gender is the only one that it refers to.

New manager charged with old manager’s wrong

The former manager of our company had not complied with a certain law and has been summoned to appear before one of the authorities to show cause. I am the new manager having just started my job and the summons only reads the manager. However at the time of the issue, it was him he was in charge not me. Unfortunately he was an expat and has left the country. Who should attend this show cause summons?
RL, Mwanza

What you would like to hear is that it is the manager who was here at the time of the offence who should appear. Unfortunately, unless the law under which the title manager is charged states so, the summons is made out on the title. It does indeed sound very unfair but section 66 of the Interpretation of Laws Act makes it very clear that any civil or criminal proceedings taken by or against any person by virtue of his office shall not be discontinued or abate by his death, resignation or absence or removal from office, but may be carried on by or against, as the case may be, the person for the time being holding that office.

Time limit for police interview

I was taken in for police interview and spent the entire day there from 9am to 7pm, and then admitted to bail after having to plead with the officer that I did not want to be held in custody as it was a minor bailable offence which i was denying in any case. I was told that the police in charge who could allow bail was attending a function but I finally managed to get of him and get bail. My question is on how long can an officer interview me because by the end of the interview I was extremely tired and stressed. The officer kept on asking the same question over and over again, slowly writing on his notepad. Is there no time limit under the law?
CC, Moshi

The Criminal Procedure Act has provided under section 50 that (1) for the purpose of this Act, the period available for interviewing a person who is in restraint in respect of an offence is– (a) subject to paragraph (b), the basic period available for interviewing the person, that is to say, the period of four hours commencing at the time when he was taken under restraint in respect of the offence. Paragraph (b) in principle excludes time when you are waiting for your lawyer, or the time when you are not being interviewed. However, the basic time frame for the interview is 4 hours, which however can be extended to another four hours as provided under section 51. Section 51 states that (1) where a person is in lawful custody in respect of an offence during the basic period available for interviewing a person, but has not been charged with the offence, and it appears to the police officer in charge of investigating the offence, for reasonable cause, that it is necessary that the person be further interviewed, he may– (a) extend the interview for a period not exceeding eight hours and inform the person concerned accordingly; or (b) either before the expiration of the original period or that of the extended period, make application to a magistrate for a further extension of that period. (2) A police officer shall not frivolously or vexatiously extend the basic period available for interviewing a person, but any person in respect of whose interview the basic period is extended pursuant to paragraph (a) of subsection (1), may petition for damages or compensation against frivolous or vexatious extension of the basic period, the burden of proof of which shall lie upon him.