Q&A – 8 May 2023

Reporting injured dog to police

I am a driver of trucks. In January this year, while driving, I unfortunately hit and injured a dog which was crossing the road. I was surprised when my assistant told me to stop at the nearest police station so as to report the accident. He told me that my predecessor used to report such incidents. I resisted as I don’t think that to be a requirement of the law. Is it a law to report injuries of cats and dogs?
KT, Dar

Not only are you required to report this to the police, but the law also requires you, after hitting the animal, to stop and give first aid to the animal as is necessary. Section 26(1) of the Animal Welfare Act (the Act), is clear that a person driving or operating a vehicle or bicycle who strikes or injures an animal is obliged to stop and provide care and attention to the animal as is necessary to relieve pain and aid its recovery and where the animal is a domestic one, such person is required to use reasonable diligence to notify the nearest local government authority or the police to take care of the animal as the case may be. Your assistant advised you correctly notwithstanding that very few people know of this law or comply with it.

Son refuses to study abroad

I have a 16 year old son who is expecting to complete his high school studies in May this year. My wish is for him to pursue his undergraduate degree abroad but he is resisting despite explaining to him the advantages of studying abroad. I have noted that he is siding with his mother who supports his idea of studying performing arts in one of the local universities. My vision is for him to study law in one of the prestigious universities in the Schengen countries. If the son continues to be adamant, I will leave him with his mother and not pay a penny for his university education. Can this young boy disrespect my decision like that?
AC, Dodoma

The answer is yes; your son is not bound by your decision. He is going to university not you, and you cannot force him to study a subject or in an area he does not want to.

Section 11 of the Law of the Child Act, 2009 gives a child the right of giving his opinion. The law provides that a child shall have a right of opinion and no person shall deprive a child, capable of forming views, the right to express an opinion, to be listened to and to participate in decisions which affect his well-being. Given that your son is 16 years old, he is capable of forming views for a decision of choosing his career and a university he wishes to undertake in his undergraduate studies. Relying on that law, a child disagreeing with a parent’s view in a matter affecting his well-being is not a disrespect to the parent.

We understand that choosing the right career decision is very important and just like every other parent you must be concerned about your child’s future. However, you need to understand and allow your son to make his final career decision. As a parent you would always like to choose the best thing for your child but there are higher chances that the field you are recommending to your child is not a field of interest to him. Being a good parent you should try to understand your child’s point of view instead of demotivating or forcing him to go your way.

You might want to involve his mother and have an open discussion, but remember that the final decision is that of your son and not yours. If he decides to go to a local university, you will be obliged to fund him.

Courier refuses to deliver cigarettes

I have a friend staying in a neighboring country who enjoys smoking one of our famous Tanzanian branded cigarettes from TCC. Recently, he sent me funds wanting me to send three cartons of these cigarettes. I bought the cigarettes but when I presented the parcel to the courier company for delivery, they refused claiming that it is illegal under Tanzanian laws to deliver such a parcel. Is the courier company justified to reject the parcel? What if I give the parcel to a person travelling by bus, will that be legal? How can you assist sort this problem?
RS, Dar

The Tobacco Products (Regulation) Act, 2003, clearly states that no person shall cause a tobacco product to be sent by mail unless the mailing is between manufacturers or retailers or distributors who are exempted by the regulations made under the Act. Given the dictates of the law, mailing of tobacco products between individuals is prohibited, unless the sender and receiver are traders of tobacco products. That being the case, the courier company was justified to refuse delivering the parcel.

The Act doesn’t define the word ‘mailing’. However, as stated in the long title, the Act is meant to regulate the manufacture, labelling, distribution, sale, use, promotion of tobacco products, smoking in specified areas and matters connected thereto. From that long title, we glean that the Act is purposively couched, inter alia, to prevent unauthorized distribution of tobacco. Thus, most likely, we think, even delivery of a parcel by a person travelling by bus from and to an unauthorized tobacco products trader is illegal. There might also be tax implications at the border should you send the cigarettes by bus. You can consult your lawyer before deciding what to do. The last option is for your friend to come visit you and enjoy our country and the cigarettes!