Q&A – 24 August 2020

Social media abuses

There is a particular person who keeps on abusing me on Instagram and now Facebook. No one seems to care and people end up commenting. It is really causing me stress and I feel I am being stalked and harassed. Is there a way I can stop this?
TI, Dar

Section 23 of the Cyber Crimes Act comes to your rescue and states that (1) a person shall not initiate or send any electronic communication using a computer system to another person with intent to coerce, intimidate, harass or cause emotional distress. (2) A person who contravenes subsection (1) commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of not less than five million shillings or to imprisonment for a term of not less than three years or to both.

You can report this to the police who can take this up. It will likely lead to the arrest of the person and so long as it is known who it is, this should be easy to do.

You may also want to consider suing the person for defamation. To constitute defamation, a claim must generally be false and have been made to someone other than the person defamed.

Suing a Ministry

I am aggrieved with some issues and I intend to sue the Permanent Secretary of a Ministry. I am not aware of the law that governs such suits in addition to the procedure for instituting these civil proceedings. Please guide.
YU, Dar

Since the Permanent Secretary (PS) is an officer of the Government the procedures for suing are stipulated under the Government Proceedings Act, R.E. 2019 (the Act).

Section 6 of the Act requires the claimant to submit to the Government Minister, Department or officer concerned a notice of not less than 90 days of her/his intention to sue the Government. The said notice has to specify the basis of the claim against the Government and a copy of the notice has to be sent to the Attorney General as well as the Solicitor General.

After expiry of the Notice, the suit against the Government has to be brought against the Attorney General and a copy of the Plaint is to be served upon the Solicitor General, Government Ministry, Department or officer that is alleged to have committed the civil wrong on which the civil suit is based.

It is worth noting that section 7 of the Act makes it mandatory for all civil proceedings that are brought against the Government to be instituted before the High Court. However, depending on the nature of your claim, there might be a need of joining the responsible ministry as a co-defendant in such proceedings. Since we are not aware of all facts of your claim, we recommend you talk to your lawyer for further advice but remember the 90 days rule.

Abandonment of plot

I am a Tanzanian working who was working abroad for a number of years. I came back last month on vacation and to my surprise was issued with a notice of abandonment of my plot which is situated at Kigamboni. After several enquiries, I was informed that the Commissioner has the right to declare a land abandoned that may lead to revocation of the right of occupancy. I am not sure of what to do to save my land. Please advice.
PO, Dar

It is worth noting that section 51 of the Land Act, Cap 113 empowers the Commissioner for Lands to declare any land abandoned where the occupier has left the country or fails to comply with the payment of rent, dues, or taxes for five years.

The above provision makes it mandatory for the occupier to notify the Commissioner for Lands of his absence in the country. In the alternative, the occupier is required to make arrangements for a person to be responsible for the land and ensuring that the conditions subject to which the right of occupancy was granted are complied with during the occupier’s absence.

However, under section 51 (5) there is a room to remedy this situation and if the Commissioner is satisfied he shall take no further action.

Divorced, want to become a citizen again

I married a foreigner and moved to his country where I became a citizen. After ten years of marriage, we divorced and I have now come back to Tanzania, and want to become a citizen of Tanzania. Am I allowed to revert to my original citizenship? My consultants say that because I dumped my previous citizenship, I now cannot become a Tanzanian citizen. What should I do?
WP, Dar

Section 13 of the Citizenship Act provides for exactly such a scenario and states the following: 13.(1) If any citizen of the United Republic of full age and capacity makes a declaration in the prescribed manner renouncing his citizenship of the United Republic, the Minister may cause the declaration to be registered and upon that registration the person in question shall cease to be a citizen of the United Republic. (2) The Minister may refuse to register any declaration referred to in subsection (1) if it is made during any war in which the United Republic may be engaged or if, in his opinion, it is in any other way contrary to public policy; but notwithstanding the refusal of the Minister, the person concerned shall cease to be a citizen of the United Republic at the time prescribed under this Act. (3) Notwithstanding anything in this Act or any other written law to the contrary, any woman who is a citizen by birth of the United Republic who renounces her citizenship of the United Republic upon getting married to a citizen of another country may, where the marriage breaks down, revert to her citizenship by birth of the United Republic on such conditions as the minister may, by regulations published in the Gazette impose.

Section 12(3) allows you to once again become a citizen of Tanzania. Dumping or otherwise are not an issue and unless you have withheld information from us we don’t see why you cannot revert back to your Tanzanian citizenship.