Q&A – 17 April 2023

Monday extra holiday

I am based in the Middle East and am intending to invest in Tanzania. When I was doing my own research, I was informed that in Tanzania whenever a public holiday falls on a Saturday or a Sunday the following working day shall be a public holiday to compensate for the said public holiday which falls on a Saturday or a Sunday. I would like to know if this is true and whether there is any law providing for that.

What you are saying used to be true. In Tanzania the law that governs public holidays is known as the Public Holidays Act Cap 35 R.E. 2002 (the Act). Section 4 of the Act stipulates that, “If any day appointed to be a public holiday falls on a Saturday or a Sunday, the next following day, not being itself a public holiday shall be a public holiday and shall be also kept as a public holiday in lieu of the Saturday or Sunday.” However, this was applied in the 1990s but nowadays this has changed and if a holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday, there is no compensation whatsoever. Hence be prepared to work on the Monday as it will be a working day as usual!

Colonial time documents in possession

My late father was an employee of the the colonial government. He had in his possession some documents which he claimed to be very important documents that he carefully kept. After his death, we have continued keeping the documents in a safe. Recently, we were approached by some officials who claimed to be from the government and who wanted to inspect the documents, which we allowed them to do. Two weeks later, the same officers came back and told us that they want to take the documents for the use of the government. Is there any law that allows them to do so? If yes, what are our rights in this circumstance as the documents have a sentimental value?
EM, Dar

The law in Tanzania categorizes records into two groups being public and private records. Public records have been defined to mean the records and archives belonging to the United Republic created, received and maintained in the offices of the President; official bodies and tribunals; public offices whether legislative, judicial or executive. While private records are those documents other than public records.

Section 26 of the Records and Archives Management Act, R.E 2002 empowers the Minister responsible for the records and archives management to acquire any private records that are of national importance and in the public interest. After such acquisition, the Minister will then declare the records to be public records.

The law requires the Minister to consult the owner of private records before proceeding with the acquisition process. Furthermore, regulation 15 of the Records and Archives Management Regulation, GN No. 77 of 2007 provides for the procedure to be complied with before the acquisition of such private records. The provisions of the above-mentioned regulation makes it mandatory for the Records and Archives Management Department to prepare an agreement or contract which is to be entered between the owner of private records and the Department.
The said agreement has to specify the records to be acquired and various terms and conditions to be observed by both parties. On top of that, the owner is entitled to full and fair compensation in respect of the private records so acquired. Additionally, the amount of compensation to be paid shall be determined by the Minister for Finance after consultation with the person entitled to that compensation.

Fines for non-registration of loan with BoT

Am an investor from abroad doing dairy farming and have recently established my company in Tanzania with my offices in Mufindi, Iringa. Once my company is fully operational, I expect to be one of the main producers and exporters of dairy products such as milk, cheese, curd, cream and other dairy products. I have arranged a loan from abroad but am told that the loan needs some form of registration. What do I need to do?
CY, Iringa

First of all welcome to Tanzania and we hope your business will succeed and as you have set up your goal become one of the main producers and exporters of dairy products in Tanzania. The Government has been encouraging private sector participation in economic activities including through external borrowings.

However, the Government has also been careful in monitoring the private sector external debt so as to ensure the economy has the capacity to honor its debt obligations and to monitor legitimacy of source of funds. In that line, the Foreign Exchange Regulations of 2022 requires that any foreign loan to a resident with a tenure of more than 365 days needs to be registered with the Bank of Tanzania (BoT) and assigned a Debt Registration Number (DRN). That DRN will be the reference for disbursement, debt service and any other transaction related to such loan. The regulations require a borrower to submit the loan agreement to its local bank or financial institution within 14 days from the date of signing for such local bank or financial institution to facilitate registration of such loan with the B0T. That Bank or financial institution is supposed to submit such a loan agreement to the BoT within 7 days from receiving it from the borrower. If the borrower fails to submit the required information for registration of the loan with the BoT as required by the regulations, the borrower shall be subject to a penalty of TZS 1 million for each day that the loan remains unregistered. The bank or financial institution which also fails to submit the said required information for registration shall be subject to a penalty of TZS 1 million for each day that the loan remains unregistered.

Moreover, in case you do not have a DRN, your bank will be unable to remit the funds back to the lender. We suggest you quickly work on your loan registration with the BoT.