Q&A – 5 February 2024

Wearing political uniform in public places

I am a staunch supporter of one of the political parties in the country and like wearing my party uniform whenever I go out to public places or attend public meetings. My wife, who is a lawyer, is always annoyed with my political uniforms and she claims it is a crime to attend a public meeting or go to a public place wearing a political uniform. I doubt if what she says is true. Can you confirm if wearing political uniforms in public places is a crime?
KH, Iringa

Yes, it is a crime. Section 6(1)(a) of the Public Order Act [Cap.385 R.E 2002] gives the President power to issue an order prohibiting the wearing, in public places or public meetings, of uniforms or distinct dresses which signifies association with any political organisation or with the promotion of any political object. The Act defines a public place as a highway, public park, or garden, any sea beach, any public bridge, road, street, lane, footway, square, Court, alley or passage any open space to which for time being the public have access whether on payment or without payment. The Act also defines public meeting to include any meeting in a place and any meeting in which public or section thereof are permitted to attend whether with payment or not.

On the basis of section 6 of the Act, the Public Order (Political Uniforms Prohibition) Order which is Cap.385 of the subsidiary legislations was made. The Order prohibits wearing, in any public place or at any public meeting, of uniforms or distinctive dress which signifies association with any political organisation or promotion of political object. Therefore wearing of political uniform in a public place or at a public meeting, though very common and people do it even when they attend Courts of law for political related cases, is a crime punishable with a fine or imprisonment.

Though this law has not been enforced, failure to enforce it does not legalise a prohibited act. A crime remains a crime until the law creating it is repealed. We have conducted research to see if the Act was amended or the Order revoked but we have not come across any law repealing the Act or revoking the Order.

Adultery not a crime

I have seen a clip in social media saying that fornication is not a crime known under the Law of Marriage Act and that there is no provision in the Act which binds a spouse to have sexual intercourse with his wife or husband exclusively. I find this statement to be funny and I doubt its correctness. Can you confirm if that statement reflects the actual position of the law?
DT, Arusha

It is true that adultery is not a crime under the Law of Marriage Act of Tanzania but it is a civil wrong and a husband or a wife can file a suit for compensation against any person with whom his or her spouse committed adultery. Additionally, adultery is a ground for divorce especially when more than one act of adultery has been committed or when adulterous association is continued despite protest. This means there is an implied covenant in any contract of marriage that both parties to it shall be faithful and shall not have extra-marital affairs with other persons. However you cannot be arrested because of adultery.

Visa for a child with dual citizenship

I am citizen of Tanzania working abroad on a work permit and have a four year old child born in the country where I am currently working and staying. According to the citizenship of this country, my child has become a citizen here by virtue of birth. My understanding is that the laws of Tanzania do not allow dual citizenship but allow a child to acquire citizenship by birth from one of his parent who is a citizen of Tanzania. I am planning to visit my country Tanzania during Easter vacation and am wondering if my child who is currently having dual citizenship needs a visa for him to enter Tanzania. Please guide me.
MK, Europe

Regulation 10(2) of the Immigration (Visa) Regulations, 2016 provides the answer to your question. A child with dual citizenship of Tanzania and another country does not requires visa to enter Tanzania. However, that right will cease when the child attains the age of 18 years. According to the Tanzania Citizenship Act, a child with dual citizenship is deemed to have ceased to be a citizen of Tanzania upon attaining the age of 18 years unless he renounces his citizenship of the other country and takes the oath of allegiance.

Telling lies in Court

I had a probate case in which my opponent called a witness who lied to the Court and caused judgment to be given in favour of the opponent. Is it allowed to tell lies in Court in the course of giving evidence? What can be done where it is discovered after a person who has given his testimony in Court lied contrary to the oath he took?
SD, Tanga

A person who, in judicial proceedings, knowingly gives false testimony touching any matter which is material to the case is committing an offence called perjury. It does not matter that the testimony was given with or without oath. However, for the Court to convict a person for the offence of perjury for telling lies in court, the evidence against the accused must be supported by more than one witness.

As a general rule, under the Evidence Act, a Court can convict a person on the evidence of one witness alone but where a person is charged with the offence of perjury by telling lies in court, section 105 of the Penal Code demands that the offence should be proved by more than one witness and that Court cannot act solely on the evidence of one witness to convict a person for telling lies in Court.