Q&A – 6 July 2015

Tanzanian against Tanzania

I live and work in North America and have noticed that one Tanzanian I know is always against whatever is done in Tanzania. There is nothing positive he says about our country. Can a person’s citizenship be revoked if that person is always against the interests of Tanzania?

We are unsure what exactly he is saying against the country. If he is merely being critical of certain issues, we don’t see how his citizenship can be revoked. Tanzania is one country in Africa where, to a large extent, freedom of speech is reasonably well respected and allowed.

Notwithstanding the above, the Tanzanian Citizenship Act has provided a section 15(2) that deals with your concerns. It states as follows:
(2) Subject to the provisions of this section, the Minister may by order deprive of his citizenship any citizen of the United Republic who is a citizen by naturalization if he is satisfied that that citizen-
(a) has shown himself by act or speech to be disloyal or disaffected towards the United Republic; or (b) has, during any war in which the United Republic was engaged, unlawfully traded or communicated with, any enemy or been engaged in or associated with any business that was to his knowledge carried on in such a manner as to assist an enemy in that war; or
(c) has, within five years after becoming naturalized, been sentenced
in any country to imprisonment for a term of not less than twelve months, or
(d) has been ordinarily resident in foreign countries for a continuous period of five years and during that period has not registered annually in the prescribed manner with a United Republic consulate or by notice in writing to the Minister, indicated his intention to retain his citizenship of the United Republic.
(3) The Minister shall not deprive a person of citizenship tinder this section unless he is satisfied that it is not conductive to the public good that that person should continue to be a citizen of the United Republic.
(4) Before making an order under this section, the Minister shall give the person against whom the order is proposed to be made notice in writing informing him of the ground on which it is proposed to be made and of his right to an inquiry under this section.
(5) If that person applies in the prescribed manner for an inquiry, the Minister shall refer the case to a committee of inquiry consisting of a Chairman, being a person possessing judicial experience, and such other members as he thinks proper, appointed by the Minister.

You will note from the above that the Minister for Home Affairs has powers to strip off the citizenship of such a person but depending on what exactly he or she is saying and doing. You may also note that a person may also lose his or her citizenship if he or she has lived away from Tanzania for 5 years without registering their names at the Tanzanian consulate overseas.

Shut down by NEMC

Does the National Environmental Management Council (NEMC) have the power to shut down a factory that is profitable and paying large taxes to TRA just because it releases some water into an unused stream. NEMC also threatened to charge the directors of this company. If that is possible, what is the point of having a limited liability company? I find this law contradicts and contravenes other laws in Tanzania.
YT, Dar

Under the Environmental Management Act, NEMC have great powers which include shutting you down if you are knowingly polluting a water stream. Section 109 states clearly that

(1) Any person who knowingly puts or permits to be put or to fall or to be carried into any stream, so as either singly or in combination with other similar acts of the same nature or interfere with its due flow or pollute its waters, or puts solid refuse of any manufactory or manufacturing process, or puts any rubbish or any other waste or any putrid solid matter into such stream, commits an offence.

(2) Any person who causes to fall or flow or knowingly permits to fall or, flow or to
be carried into any stream any poisonous, noxious or polluting liquid proceeding from any factory or manufacturing process, commits an offence.

Therefore, it is undisputed that one commits an offence when you release water into a stream, whether the stream is unused or not. We also find it very hard to believe that there is an “unused” stream in Dar.
On liability for directors and partners, section 201 states that

(1) Where a body corporate commits an offence under this Act, every director or partner and any other person concerned in the management of that body corporate commits the offence unless that person proves that –
(a) the offence was committed without his consent or connivance; and
(b) the person exercised all such diligence to prevent the commission of the offence as ought to have been exercised by that person having regard to the nature of his functions in that capacity and to all the circumstances.

(2) Every director or partner and any other person concerned in the management of, a body corporate to which a licence or order has been issued under this Act shall take all reasonable steps to prevent that body corporate from contravening or failing to comply with the licence or order.

(3) A person who contravenes subsection (2) commits an offence and shall, on conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding five million shillings or to imprisonment to a term not exceeding one year or to both.
As per section 201, a director can be made liable for such an offence and sentenced to imprisonment.

There is also no relation between TRA and NEMC. Just because you are a large taxpayer does not mean that you can pollute any stream you want. Even the largest taxpayer must comply with the environmental laws of Tanzania. Furthermore, the Companies Act doesn’t provide any immunity to directors from prosecution if one breaches the environmental laws of the land.

We strongly recommend that you comply as NEMC is very strict in the way it conducts its business.