Q&A – 31 March 2014

Objecting another wife in polygamous marriage

I am one of the two wives of a certain man. Our husband is highly depending on myself and my co-wife on sustaining his own life. I am personally working hard for our family. Surprisingly, our husband now wants to add another wife. We have objected to this but he maintains that we were all married in polygamous marriage thus there is nothing we can raise as an impediment. I am scared about this new marriage because the woman he wants to marry has health which is questionable. We have been tipped that a notice of intention to marry has already been issued to the office of the registrar. Is there a way we can avoid or prevent this marriage?
ER, Dar

The provisions of the Law of Marriage Act has provisions under Section 20 which covers your situation.

The said provision states that where a man married under a polygamous marriage has given notice of an intended marriage, his wife or, if he has more that one wife, any of his wives may give notice of objection to the registrar or registration officer to whom the notice of intention was given on the ground that either having regard to the husband’s means, the taking of another wife is likely to result in hardship to his existing wife or wives and infant children, if any; or that the intended wife is of notoriously bad character or is suffering from an infectious or otherwise communicable disease or is likely to introduce grave discord into the household. Once your objection is sent to the Registrar or the registration officer, the marriage shall not take place unless the said objection has been determined by the Board (Marriage Reconciliation Board).

We advise you and your co-wife to take the above approach. This might be resolved also if you involve elders in
your family. Otherwise you may need to consult a family law attorney for appropriate steps.

Misbehaving nurse

I have been frequently attending a certain government hospital for the purpose of taking my old man who goes for special medication there. Strangely there is one nurse who uses extremely offensive language with patients. There are a lot of complaints by the other patients but it seems all these are falling on deaf ears. Is there a regulatory framework against unprofessional conduct of nurses?
SD, Dar

We are alive to existence of the Nursing and Midwifery Act, No 1 of 2010 which is an act to make provision for protection, promotion and preservation of the public health, safety and welfare through regulation and control of nursing and midwifery education and practice. This is the specific law which regulates conduct of nurses as you have brought it up in your question.

Among the reasons where a person’s fitness to practice as a nurse is impaired includes abusing a client verbally, physically, sexually or emotionally among others as provided under this Act. The remedy for this is for one to present a complaint to the Tanzania Nursing and Midwifery Council, whereas the Registrar of the council who also serve as the Chief Executive Officer shall put the law in motion by dealing with the complaint appropriately. This law provides for serious penalties against nurses including striking them off the register. We are informed there are very few such complaints lodged as people are unaware of this mechanism. Your lawyer can explore this avenue further.

Pen results in failure in exam

I am a college students and want to take up a case against a certain company whose pens I have been
using for quite some time. I went to the exam room with such a pen and it failed to write, I panicked, couldn’t write the exam and failed. I have to now reseat the paper. Can I sue the pen manufacturer?
YG, Dar

We are quite shocked at how you failed to write the exam. Surely there were other students with extra pens. You also could not have not written the exam at all for not having a pen. You have an interesting case but there are many hurdles that you will have to overcome and we believe your case is very weak. For example a pen may not work because of the way you have stored it, carried it and the like. It is not easy to pin the blame on the manufacturer.

However if the manufacturer’s pens have a history of not writing, you have a cause of action but the damages will be minimal. We are quite certain that you will not succeed in blaming the pen manufacturer for not being able to write the exam and failing. We also find hard to believe that and suggest you consult your lawyer.

Gay marriages in Tanzania

We celebrated gay marriage in our country and wish to visit Tanzania for holidays. Just out of curiosity, are gays marriages allowed in Tanzania?
TE, Overseas

Gay’s marriage are strictly prohibited in Tanzania. The law of Marriage Act only recognizes a man and woman union as a marriage and not a man and another man. This is even new to the people of Tanzania’s local culture and it is considered as an immoral act. Relations like that between a man and man are also penalized in the penal code with serious consequences.

Whilst there is nothing that can stop you from coming to Tanzania, we advise you be careful on your behavior and conduct.

You might want to consult your lawyer on some of the do’s and don’ts.