Q&A – 27 August 2012

My friend seeing my boyfriend

I am a young, gorgeous and well educated girl. I have a boyfriend with whom I have been dating for three years. Recently I have been tipped off by someone that my best friend is also going out with my man. I have a recollection of previous incidences of my friend praising my man and admiring him. There are also some interesting messages she has been sending my boyfriend that are quite indicative that there is something fishy going on. I want to teach my friend a lesson by suing her as she is interfering in my life. She is breaking my heart which is equivalent to a criminal activity. Can I not get an injunction to stop her from seeing him. How can I win my man back. Please guide me.
SJ, Dar

Whilst we are indeed very sorry about your heart being broken, please note that the man you are dating is your boyfriend and not your husband. Whilst it might be morally wrong for him to date both of you, there is no law that stops him from even dating another woman. Morality is different from legality and quite unfortunate for you, we have not come across a law that prevents this.

Your friend’s behavior may be cruel, unethical and perhaps unacceptable; it is not illegal and hence not actionable.

As lawyers we are not experts on relationships and you should consider getting counseling for your boyfriend if you think he can change his behavior. Otherwise you have no choice but to break up and look for another friend and boyfriend.

An injunction cannot be issued for the reasons outlined above. Your best friend is not breaking the law by dating your boyfriend. Assuming your boyfriend and best friend are sexually involved, there is no law that stops her or anyone for that purpose in engaging in sexual activity, provided it is consensual, the parties are of the required age and there is nothing that is abnormal or unnatural about the sexual relation.

Illegal show at party

I went to a party where there were some lady performers. Whilst the evening was very enjoyable, I found some of the shows very sexually explicit. My husband could not take eyes of some of the women performing. The dressing was nearly naked and the body moves were extremely vulgar and had nothing but a connotation to sex. Is this legal? How can we stop our men from seeing such things that make them have different thoughts?
OE, Dar

To begin with, it is hard to stop ‘our men’ from using their eyes to see something. That would be restraining them from using one of their senses.

Our Penal Code states that any person who (a) for the purpose of or by way of trade or for the purpose of distribution or public exhibition, makes, produces or has in his possession any one or more obscene writings, drawings, prints, paintings, printed matter, pictures, posters, emblems, photographs, cinematograph -films or any other objects or any other object tending to corrupt morals: or (b) for any of the purposes above mentioned imports, conveys or exports, or causes to be imported, conveyed or exported any such matters or things, or in any manner whatsoever puts any of them in circulation; or (c) carries on or takes part in any business, whether public or private, concerned with any such matters or things, or deals in any such matters or things in any manner whatsoever, or distributes any of them, or exhibits any of them publicly, or makes a business of lending any of them; or (d) advertises or makes known by any means whatsoever with a view to assisting the circulation of, or traffic in, any such matters or things, that a person is engaged in any of the acts referred to in this section, or advertises or makes known how, or from whom, any such matters or things can be procured either directly or indirectly; or (e) publicly exhibits any indecent show or performance or any show or performance tending to corrupt morals, is guilty of a misdemeanour, and is liable, to imprisonment for two years or to a fine of two thousand shillings.

From (e) above, such an indecent show is illegal. The only catch is what is an indecent show? How does one define indecency? Many years ago, kissing on TV might have been indecent; now it seems to be acceptable. Indecency has a subjective interpretation. Kissing on the cheek in public might not be indecent. Lip kissing for a short period might not be indecent. However lip kissing for a longer period might be considered indecent depending on the circumstances. Similarly wearing a bikini these days is quite normal although it would have been considered indecent some years ago. There is no statutory definition of indecency and hence something that is indecent to you might not necessarily be considered indecent in the eyes of the law. We suggest you seek and explain the exact indecent act to your lawyer who can guide you further. We must admit that with technological advancements, the scope of indecency has been considerably narrowed down.

Aquaculture in Tanzania

I have returned to Tanzania after completing my studies in one of the Scandinavian countries. During my studies a friend and I agreed to start a large scale fish farming project. Is this sector regulated? What do I need to do? Please advise as I am eagerly waiting to start the venture with my potential partner.
AF, Kigoma

The fishing industry is regulated under the Fisheries Act among other laws governing the sector. Under the Fisheries Act, a permit has to be obtained before you start venturing into this business. If you intend to borrow money from local banks, you might want to register a limited liability company and ensure that there is a proper shareholders agreement in place. As part of your activities and depending on the size of the project, you may require to conduct an environmental impact assessment and obtain water user rights. It is not unwise to consult your lawyers to assist you set this up.