Q&A – 4 March 2024

Killing wild animal in self defence

Our village is located near a national park in Manyara and sometimes we encounter wild animals while going about our daily activities. Unfortunately, some of these encounters can be deadly. We often hear reports of people being killed by wild animals such as lions. I believe it is prohibited to kill lions but can we do so as a self defence mechanism?
TH, Manyara

We are sorry to hear about the lion attacks in your village. The Wildlife Conservation Act [Cap. 283 R.E 2022] (the Act) restricts the killing of wild animals such as lions.  However, in the case of self-defence, section 73 provides that nothing in this Act shall make it an offence to kill any animal in defence of human life or livestock. Nonetheless, beware that such immunity cannot be used where the behaviour of the animal necessitating such killing is the result of molestation or deliberate provocation by or with the knowledge of the person killing such animal; or the person killing such animal or the person whose life is being defended was, when such defence became necessary, committing an act which constitutes an offence under the Act.

In addition, the immunity provided under section 73 does not authorise the use of stakes in pitfalls, snare or of any other method which is likely to result in undue cruelty to animals or to endanger human life; or  the owner or occupier of any property adjoining any, conservation area to hunt in such area without the previous consent in writing of the appropriate officer of such conservation area; and the killing of any national game without the written authority of the Director of Wildlife previously sought and obtained.

Further, a person killing an animal in defence of life shall immediately remove from such animal any skin, ivory, horn, tooth or any other trophy; report the fact and the circumstances of such killing to the nearest government officer; hand over to such officer any trophy removed from such animal, which trophy shall be the property of the Government; and where required by such officer, show him the damage caused and the place of such killing. We advise you to consult the government authorities in your area for further guidance on the matter.

Cancellation of TIN

I run a bakery business in the city of Dar es Salaam and one of my business advisors suggested that I change the name of my business to attract more customers. Following this advice, I recently changed the name of my business and have been getting many more customers. However, last week, the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) officers conducted an inspection of my business and warned me that my Tax Identification Number (TIN) will be cancelled because of the change of name. I do not think this is fair. Why should TRA cancel my TIN while I have complied with all the legal requirements in the process of changing the business name. Please guide me.
EM, Dar es Salaam

Congratulations on your business doing well. It is good that you complied with all the legal requirements regarding change of a business name.  However, you should note that the business name is a crucial detail and its change affects the formal records kept by government authorities. You therefore need to inform the authorities about the change of the business name. Generally, matters of tax administration are governed by the Tax Administration Act [Cap. 438 R.E 2019] (TAA)].

The TRA does not restrict changing business names. However, for administrative purposes, section 25(2) of the TAA, requires that a person who owns a TIN shall, in writing and within 30 days from the date of any change of details referred to in the TIN Certificate, notify the Commissioner General of the changes in the certificate. The Commissioner General may, without cancelling a TIN, then issue a person with an amended TIN certificate when appropriate. In case you fail to do so within the specified time, the Commissioner General shall cancel a TIN where he is satisfied, among other things, that the identity of a person holding the certificate is different from the identity of a person to whom the certificate was issued. In that regard, changing of the business name without informing TRA is a reasonable ground to warrant cancellation of TIN. We advise you to write to the Commissioner General as required by the law and rectify this. In our experience, the TRA has no issues with such a change as you still continue remaining in the tax base.

Artist under a record label

I am a talented upcoming artist in Tanzania and my music has gained significant popularity, especially my latest hit song on environment conservation. I was working as a solo artist but recently many record labels have approached me after seeing my potential. In particular, one of the leading labels in the country wants to sign me immediately. Before I make any decision on signing with the record label, I want to be guided on intellectual property rights.
UU, Dar

Congratulations on your music work. According to the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) Intellectual property  (IP) refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names and images used in commerce.  IP is protected by our laws which in turn creates rights for people to earn recognition or financial benefit from what they invent or create. IP rights can be complex to understand. Our general comments are that the contract a musician signs with a record label will have a significant impact on their intellectual property rights. It is crucial for musicians to carefully review the contract to understand how it addresses copyright ownership, royalties, and licensing of their work. Some contracts may grant the label certain rights to distribute and market the music, while others may require the artist to assign the copyright to the label.

Further, in the event that a musician decides to part ways with a record label, the fate of their intellectual property will depend on the terms of their contract. Some contracts may include provisions granting the artist the transfer of intellectual property rights upon termination, while others may maintain ownership by the label. Reviewing the contract and seeking legal advice is essential to protect your rights and ensure a smooth transition if you choose to leave the label. Your lawyer can guide you further.