Q&A – 3 February 2020

Bail in drug offences
My friend who is charged with a drug offence has been denied bail because the offence he is charged with is unbailable. NonethelessI have seen some people charged with drug offences being admitted to bail. I would like to know when a drug offence is bailable and when it is not. The bailability of drug offences is confusing me. Why is there such discrimination?
FY, Mwanza

The bailability of drug offences has gone through three major statutory changes. Prior to 15 September, 2015, section 27(1)(a) of the Drugs and Prevention of Illicit Traffic in Drugs Act (DPITDA) [Cap.95 R.E 2002] and section 148(5)(a)(iii) of the Criminal Procedure Act [Cap. 20 R.E 2002] made absolute prohibition to bail for the offence of trafficking in narcotic drug or psychotropic substance. The two laws also prohibited bail for the offence of unlawful possession of narcotic drug or psychotropic substance if the value of the drug or psychotropic substance involved exceeded TZS 10M

The DPITDA was repealed and replaced by the Drug Control and Enforcement Act, 2015 (DCEA) which came into force on 15 September, 2015. Section 29(1)(a) to (c) of the DCEA made the offence of trafficking in narcotic drug or psychotropic substance bailable subject to the weight of the drug involved in the charge. Between 15 September 2015 and 1 December, 2017, the offence of trafficking in manufactured narcotic drugs like heroin or cocaine was unbailable if the drug involved was weighing 200 grams or more. For prohibited plants like cannabis, sativa and khat, bail was prohibited if the illicit plant involved was weighing 100 kilograms or more. For precursor chemicals bail was denied if the chemical was weighing 30 litres if it was in a liquid form or one hundred kilograms if it was in a solid form. Hence any weight or volume below the above amounts allowed one to bail.

In 2017 section 29 of the DCEA was amended by reducing the weight threshold for bail. Hence since 1 December, 2017, which is the position todate, the offence of trafficking in manufactured narcotic drugs like heroin and cocaine became unbailable if the drug involved is weighing 20 grams or more. For plants like cannabis sativa and khat, bail is denied if the drug is weighing 20 kilograms or more and for precursor chemicals, bail is denied if the chemical is weighing 30 litres or kilograms. The amendment made to the DCEA in 2017 also added three more drug offences in the list of unbailable drug offences. The new offences are offences under Section16, 20 and 23 of the DCEA. You should not confuse the weight threshold for bail and that of jurisdiction. Threshold for bail is far below the threshold for jurisdiction.

Surety for my boss
I am surety for my boss in which he has been criminally charged. I wish to remove myself from being his surety. Can I do so? Can I be fired for such withdrawal?
TE, Dar

The Criminal Procedure Act allows a surety to withdraw. You need to make an application to the magistrate, which you can do orally.

On such application being, made the magistrate shall issue a warrant of arrest directing that your boss be brought before the Court.

Your boss will have a chance to replace someone else as a surety otherwise he will be sent to remand prison pending satisfaction of a surety.

It might be wise to inform your boss beforehand that you intend to withdraw being his surety to allow him prepare another surety.

As for your employment, just because you removed your name as a surety is no ground for your boss to fire you. If he does, it would be an unfair termination.

Insurance against rain
Does the law in Tanzania disallow insurance companies from issuing cover against rain that may affect a function outdoors that I intend to organize? My broker says that this is gambling and the Insurance Act disallows underwriting of such events. Is this true?
GH, Moshi

We have read the Insurance Act and have not seen any such provision in there. There is a saying in insurance that everything is insurable provided you are willing and able to pay the right premium for it.

Admittedly the insurance industry is relatively new in Tanzania and is evolving so “creative covers” like the one you are looking for may not be available. Having said that, it is not impossible to get cover if the insurer can get adequate reinsurance.

Overseas celebrities insure things like vocal chords, legs, smiles, breasts, that contribute to their fame. You might be surprised to hear that there are people that also cover mustaches, taste buds and even chest hair.

Even more fascinating is that some people can get insurance for alien abductions and if aliens impregnate the abductee, the claim is worth even more! We are not sure if any such claims have been paid.

We recommend you speak to a different broker or approach the insurance company directly for guidance.

Tipping in Tanzania
Is there a law that makes tipping mandatory in Tanzania? There are certain hotels that are now adding a 10% tip to the bill. Please guide.
IG, Dar

There is no law tipping law in Tanzania. Unless the menu states that the price excludes service charge which will be added on as part of the bill, you cannot be forced to tip.

A tip is a gesture of good service and in most countries is discretionary but common to give. In Tanzania, we are not aware of this automatic addition to the bill, but customers do tip between 5 to 15% for good service. Again, that is for you to decide and you cannot be forced to tip if you do not want to.