Q&A – 20 March 2017

Restaurant food with cockroach

I went to a top notch restaurant that everyone believes has the cleanest kitchen in Tanzania. Whether you believe it or not, I ate a cockroach unknowingly. It came out the next day when I went to the toilet and want to sue the restaurant owner. How do I proceed?
ET, Dar

It is hard for us to believe that a cockroach that you ate came out when you went to the toilet the next day. From the biology that we know, it is quite apparent that a cockroach you eat would be digested by your digestive system. Our research shows it is virtually impossible for it to have been excreted the next day unless it was made of silver.

We also find it hard to believe how you would know that you excreted a cockroach unless you were monitoring your stool, which very few people would normally do. All in all, should your ingestion of a cockroach be true, you do have both a contractual and tortious claim against the restaurant. If the restaurant is a limited liability company, than it is the company that you would sue, not the owner. If the restaurant is a sole proprietorship, you can sue the owner him/herself.

Finally one challenge you have is proving that you ingested a cockroach. How would you go about proving that the cockroach you seemingly excreted was from the restaurant you visited? Your lawyers can provide more guidance.

Tanzanian wanting to invest overseas

I am a Tanzanian businessman intending to invest in other African countries. My accountant says that this is restricted because of some tax regulations. Is that true?
UG, Dar

There are no tax laws or regulations that we are aware of that restrict you from investing your money in other countries. You might want to get your accountant to provide you with the exact regulation he or she is referring to. Perhaps what your accountant is pointing out is that you can invest in other countries but these must be funds that are taxed here in Tanzania and for which approval has been obtained from the Bank of Tanzania.

For example if you are investing large amounts in other countries as equity, and since you are Tanzanian, these amounts should have been legitimately obtained in Tanzania or elsewhere with taxes having been paid, and the investment and remittance declared to the BoT.

The Compliance levels of many businesses in Tanzania is poor and maybe your accountant is worried that you will end up in trouble with TRA and/or the BoT who can inquire on where you got such funds from to invest in other countries when you are not declaring all your income in Tanzania.

Counselling someone to commit crime

Is a person who is counselling someone to commit a crime but does not commit the crime himself guilty of an offence? I know someone who teaches people how to cut open safes that are stolen- is that legal?
LK, Dar

Section 22 of the Penal Code states clearly that when an offence is committed, each of the following persons is deemed to have taken part in committing the offence and to be guilty of the offence, and may be charged with actually committing it, that is to say (a) every person who actually does the act or makes the omission which constitutes the offence; (b) every person who does or omits to do any act for; the purpose of enabling or aiding another person, to commit the offence: (c) every person who aids or abets another person in committing the offence; (d) any person who counsels or procures any other person to commit the offence. In the last mentioned case he may be charged either with committing the offence or with counselling or procuring its commission.

A conviction of counselling or procuring the commission of an offence entails the same consequences in all respects as a conviction of committing the offence. From the above you can see that counselling a commission of an offence has consequences similar to committing the offence.

Fighting in public

My boyfriend’s ex girlfriend fought me with in a nightclub out of no wrong that I had done. She thinks she owns my boyfriend. She also literally swore at me in front of hundreds of people and the DJ instead of increasing the speaker volume decreased it so that everyone can hear what was happening. My boyfriend also seemed to be encouraging both of us to fight. I am heart broken.
OU, Dar

The Penal code clearly states that any person who takes part in a fight in a public place is guilty of a misdemeanor, and is liable to imprisonment for six months or to a fine not exceeding five hundred shillings. Further any person who— (a) uses obscene, abusive or insulting language to any other person, in such a manner as is likely to cause a breach of the peace; or (b) brawls or in any other manner creates, a disturbance in such a manner as is likely to cause a breach of the peace, is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction therefore is liable imprisonment for six months.

Your boyfriend’s ex can be reported to the police and the above will apply to her which means that she could be imprisoned. The Penal Code also stated that any person who challenges another to fight a duel, or attempts to provoke another to fight a duel, or attempts to provoke any person to challenge another to fight a duel, is guilty of a misdemeanor.

You can see that both the DJ and your boyfriend might be in breach of the above provision and you can report them both to the police for investigation. As for being heartbroken, this is not a legal question and whilst we sympathize with you, we are unable to respond to this. You might need services of a counsellor.