Q&A – 25 January 2016

Mother teaches child wrong stuff

My wife with whom I am separated, intentionally teaches our child wrong stuff, trying to prove her point. For example in math, the mum would give all wrong answers to the child. She recently told the child that she has the switch to turn on the sun in the morning and switch it off at night, and now he believes this. She also told the child that she can “bring out” anything you see on television and ever since, my child has been using a pencil on the tv set to try bring the character out. The school teachers have disallowed my wife to go into class as last time she was there she said that fish can swim in the air as well as in the water. When my son was injured she decided not to take him to the hospital as she said she was trying to improve the child’s immune system. I really don’t know what to do with her. Please guide.
YT, Dar

We are unsure why you say that this is intentional but if it is, the under the Law of Child Act is clear in that it is the duty of the parent to maintain the child in particular to give the child the right to food, shelter, clothing, medical care, education and guidance, liberty, right to play and leisure. This law is also clear that a person shall not deprive the child of any other thing required for his development.

As for not providing adequate and appropriate medical care, the Law of Child Act states that a person shall not deny a child medical care by reason of religious or other beliefs. Your wife is in breach of this law and you can proceed report her. If convicted she can be sentenced to six months imprisonment or a fine or both.

On a different note, you might want to consider getting her medical help as the behavior is quite abnormal. What you might be thinking is intentional might actually be a medical condition that you and her are unaware of.

Imprisonment of corporate body

I have read various laws of Tanzania and am thoroughly confused when the law mentions that the body corporate ie the company is guilty it shall be sentenced to imprisonment or fined or both. Now how can a company be sent to prison? Do you arrest the poor managers, directors or shareholders? Is that not unfair for sins of a company?
GO, Moshi

It is true that you cannot sentence a corporate body as it is not a human being. However some of the laws actually provide that the directors or the managers will be sentenced to jail. In that case it is the directors and managers who are responsible for the acts of the company. However where the law does not specifically state so, you are right that one cannot imprison the company.

To salvage such a situation, the Interpretation of Laws Act provides a fine mechanism in lieu of imprisonment and states in section 71 that (1) Every enactment relating to an offence punishable on conviction or on summary conviction shall be taken to refer to bodies corporate as well as to individuals. (2) Where under a written law, a forfeiture or penalty is payable to a party aggrieved, it shall be payable to a body corporate in every case where that body is the party aggrieved. (3) Except where otherwise expressly provided, where the penalty prescribed in a written law in respect of an offence does not consist of or include a fine, the court before which the offence is tried may, in the case of a body corporate, impose a fine– (a) where a term of imprisonment not exceeding six months is prescribed, a fine of two million shillings; (b) where a term of imprisonment exceeding six months but not exceeding one year is prescribed, a fine of three million shillings; (c) where a term of imprisonment exceeding one year but not exceeding two years is prescribed, a fine of five million shillings; (d) where a term of imprisonment exceeding three years is prescribed, a fine of ten million shillings.
You can see that instead of the corporate being imprisoned it is fined.

Replacement of CTAs

There is confusion as to which type of visa a director coming for board meetings or an engineer coming for a few days to fix/install machines should take at the airport. It seems that the Short Term Permit (STP) applies to all which does not make sense. People will not have board meetings in Tanzania if that is the case. Can you clarify the current position of the law?
SM, Dar

Such persons ie board directors and engineers who were here for a short term, but were not here for employment, were previously either taking business visas or Carrying on Temporary Assignment (CTA) passes which allowed them to be legally in the country. However both these were not being issued by the immigration at the airport since December 2015 with the CTA actually being abolished bringing in great confusion. The airports and other border points were only issuing tourist visas.

However since third week of January 2016, the Immigration has started issuing business visas at the airport and other entry points. Business visas are meant for those coming for specific tasks for example technicians/engineers coming to fix/install machinery, trainers coming for short term training, directors coming for board meetings, professionals coming to investigate a company’s financial statements and the like. The business visa does not allow one to work and costs USD 200 for nationals of Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Mozambique, Burundi, Malawi and other SADC countries, and USD 250 for other nationals. It is valid for 90 days, not extendable and is not a substitute for a STP and only allows one entry. Anyone intending to work in Tanzania requires a work permit and residence permit, not a business visa.

Therefore the confusion on what type of visa or permit to get when entering Tanzania is now clear. You will appreciate that many people were using CTAs instead of work permits which was what likely caused the immigration to take such action.