Q&A – 3 June 2019

Usage of condoms during plastic ban

I am concerned that condoms that we frequently use are also disallowed as part of the ongoing plastic ban. We cannot use paper products for such activities can we? What do you suggest and how can I challenge this regulation? It is infringing my rights as an adult. 
FH, Dar

There is indeed a welcome new regulation on plastics that has been issued. It came into force on 1 June 2019 and disallows mainly plastic carrier bags, just like 34 other African countries which have banned such bags. After having read your question, we reread the regulations and we don’t see anywhere where condoms are deemed or defined as carrier bags to fall into the ambit of the regulations. Unless you are using carrier bags as condoms, which we hope you are not, condoms are not disallowed meaning you can continue using them as required. Please note that we are not making any representations on the safety or frequency of usage of condoms.

Had condoms been part of the ban (which is not the case), then you would likely be entitled to file a petition to challenge such a ban under the Basic Rights and Duties Enforcement Act, which has been used in the past. The petition would have to be filed in the High Court before 3 judges, and If successful, you would be able to strike out parts of the regulations that offend your rights under the constitution.

Finally, your question on whether we can use paper products in lieu of condoms is something we are not able to answer. Considering that we have confirmed that condoms can still be used, we believe this question dies a natural death. If it doesn’t, we recommend you seek medical help.

Wrong stuff taught to child

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 out the character. 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.

Imprisoning a 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.