Q&A – 8 February 2016
Airlines adverts big lie
A leading airline flying to Tanzania advertised a certain airfare in a newspaper. I was one of the first ones to call only to be told that the fare was not available. I checked with friends and even those few who got that rate were asked to pay different additional charges which made the advertised rate a lie. How can Tanzanian authorities allow such a lie to consumers in Tanzania? What should I do?
One of the most efficient authorities in Tanzania is the Fair Competition Commission which administers the Fair Competition Act. This Act has a specific provision that makes this type of bait advertising, where you advertise to get people to call you and you try sell them the service or product at a higher rate, an offence.
Section 21 states that (I) No person shall advertise goods or services for supply at a specified price if there are reasonable grounds, of which he is aware, or ought reasonably to be aware, for believing that he will not be able to offer for supply those goods or services at that price for a period that is, and in quantities that are, reasonable having regard to the nature of the market in which he carries on business and the nature of the advertisement. (2) Any person who has, in trade, advertised goods or services for supply at a specified price shall offer such goods or services for supply at that price for a period that is, and in quantities that are, reasonable having regard to the nature of the market in which he carries on business and the nature of the advertisement. (3) In a prosecution of a person in relation to a failure to offer goods or services to a person (in this sub-section referred to as the ‘customer’) in accordance with sub-section (2), it is a defence for that person if he establishes that: (a) he offered to supply or to procure another person to supply goods or services of the kind advertised to the customer within a reasonable time, in a reasonable quantity and at the advertised price; or (b) he offered to supply immediately, or to procure another person to supply within a reasonable time, equivalent goods or services to the customer in a reasonable quantity and at the price at which the first-mentioned ”goods” or ”services” were advertised, and, in either case, where the offer was accepted by the customer, he has so supplied, or procured another person to supply, goods or services.
The Act makes this an offence and the airline can be fined up to 10% of its turnover. We recommend you report this to the FCC who will take this up and guide you on next steps which may include reporting this to the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority.
Maximum age of directors
Is there a minimum or maximum age for a company to appoint directors? Can a company force directors to own a certain amount of shares to be appointed as directors?
Section 194 of the Companies Act provides for this and states that no person shall be capable of being appointed a director of a company which is subject to this section if at the time of his appointment he had not attained the age of twenty-one or he has attained the age of seventy. Therefore the minimum age is 21 and maximum 70.
As for owning shares, if the articles provide that directors must own some shares, then one is disallowed from being elected as a director without meeting this requirement.
Court of appeal intervention
I am involved at the High Court in proceedings and certain interim orders are so wrong, and the judge is so misdirected that I need to immediately alert a higher Court. I am told that the Court of Appeal can only intervene after the case is completed. What can I do?
It is true that the Court of Appeal can only hear appeals after the case is over. However for cases like what you have stated, an option you have is to seek intervention of the Court of Appeal by way of revision. Infact rule 4 of the Tanzania Court of Appeal rules states that for all purposes of and incidental to the hearing and determination of any appeal in the exercise of the jurisdiction conferred upon it by this Act, the Court of Appeal shall, in addition to any other power, authority and jurisdiction conferred by this Act, have the power of revision and the power, authority and jurisdiction vested in the court from which the appeal is brought. (3) Further the rule states that without prejudice to the above, the Court of Appeal shall have the power, authority and jurisdiction to call for and examine the record of any proceedings before the High Court for the purpose of satisfying itself as to the correctness, legality or propriety of any finding, order or any other decision made thereon and as to the regularity of any proceedings of the High Court.
Further, you can even write to the Chief Justice for His Lordship to sua motu call the High Court file and accordingly make orders and/or quashing any such orders that have been made therein.