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AS I had predicted immediately after the end of the marathon race of the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games over the future of Tanzanian athlete, Alphonce Felix Simbu after he finished fifth in that memorable race, my prediction has finally come to pass.

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There is a video circulating on WhatsApp of a young man who decided to take educators to court. Reason? He says the school system turns millions of people into automatic machines, it uses the same classroom methods of a century ago and by treating all kids the same way, schools use testing methods that judge the ‘ability of fish to climb trees’.

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I AM reliably informed, but wish to inform you that I have a constitutional right to refuse to inform you who gave me the information, that a person who tells the truth is endeared to God.

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HAPPY New Year! My apologies for my absence last week but I was under the weather and was unable to have something ready on time. How is the year 2017 treating you so far?

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Prisons Service is now in the limelight, thanks to the impromptu visit by President John Joseph Pombe Magufuli last year at the Ukonga Central Prison where junior prison officers opened a Pandora Box to him.

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IT’S sad and despicable. I am good at watching horror movies but the images I saw on the brutality of our women were beyond and abrasive.

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The recent caning in public of a 38-year old woman in Tarime has drawn worldwide condemnation and it is heartening to note that public authorities are taking action against the perpetrators of this outdated practice.

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“It is the Algerian army which transformed me into the highest level of human specie - a freedom fighter…” -Madiba Nelson Mandela, paying tribute to Algeria.

YESTERDAY, we marked the 53rd anniversary of the Zanzibar Revolution. That Revolution, in a sense, resembles the struggle of the people of South Africa against apartheid, which, in a wider sense resembles what was in place in Zanzibar where a minority governed, suppressing the majority.

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THIS is a continuation of last week’s article, in which I reminded our readers that the year 2017 is the 50th anniversary, or golden jubilee, of the Arusha Declaration, which was promulgated in February 1967. I therefore devoted that article to the purpose of commemorating that momentous event in the political history of our country, as we celebrate its golden jubilee this year.

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KNOW what? Of course you don’t, and can’t know anything about something on which I haven’t dropped the faintest hint to you.

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THIS is the first full year of the reign of president Magufuli, the man who gained interest and admiration in Tanzania and the wider African continent for his nononsense style of fighting corruption and the waste of public resources. And true to his moniker, he has installed locks on government safes, and gate valves on all pipes used to siphon public monies out of the system.

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THE festive season is over and we are back to business. For the last three years, during such seasons I have tried to remind our leadership and residents of Dares Salaam to keep our city clean.

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IT’S 2017 and life moves on regardless of inescapable obligations before us! The children are going back to school and parents are fulfilling their obligation with due diligence.

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OVER the years, Unicef’s State of the World’s Children Reports have repeatedly shown that children around the world continue to face a brutal existence mainly because of poverty, HIV/AIDS and war.

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THE bad thing with the Christmas- New Year festive season is that it comes and goes, and within no time you have to go back to your normal hectic life. By the time the next season arrives, so much may have changed.

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“We should establish a clean government accountability system. If our leaders at all levels are clean and honest; being upright themselves before rectifying others, they will provide a good example from the beginning.

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I WISH to begin by reminding our readers that the year 2017 is the 50th anniversary of the Arusha Declaration, which was promulgated on February 5, 1967.

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IT was exactly on a date like today’s 132 years ago that the Fabian Society was founded in London, England on January 4, 1884CE (Christian Era).

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Let me start by wishing my avid readers a very happy and prosperous new year. The Year 2017 has just arrived at our door steps and this is the time of the year when I must remind you all about your “new year resolutions”.

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WELCOME to our new column: “On Human Flourishing” I believe you would agree with the proposal that Tanzanians strive to live better lives.

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Husband breach of contract

My husband promised that when I get married, and as part of my condition to get married to him, he would deposit TZS 50M every year in my personal account. I agreed to get married to him based on such a promise. For the last 15 years he complied but the last 2 years he claims that he does not have the money. I have asked him to borrow to pay as this is why I got married to him. He has refused and I want to divorce him, and put up a claim against him. Do I have a strong case against my husband? IT, Dar

It seems like you have another agreement on top of the normal marriage contract with your husband. We have not seen this agreement and hence this answer may not necessarily be conclusive. To begin with, a marriage is based on love and affection between the parties.

Yours seems to be driven by cash. A fundamental element seems to be missing in your relationship which is a shame. This is the first time we are seeing such a marriage based on such a condition. If you are successful in suing your husband, which we doubt you will succeed on, then it will set a bad precedent not only in Tanzania but world over.

Our cursory opinion, based on the few facts above, is that your agreement to be paid TZS 50M might be held to be illegal and if he counterclaims on you, you might be forced to return the money you got over the last 15 years.

We also believe that this is also not a ground for divorce. We strongly recommend you meet a marriage counsellor who might be able to provide more solid help then us lawyers.

Misleading company name

There is a company whose name suggests it is a hospital when infact it is merely a pharmacy.Once in there, the pharmacist gives you oral medication without a prescription. Infact everyone inside calls the pharmacist doctor. Is there a way someone can force this company to change its name so as not to mislead the public? UU, Morogoro

Section 33 of the Companies Act states that (I) If in the Minister’s opinion the name by which a company is registered gives so misleading an indication of the nature of its activities as to be likely to cause harm to the public, he may direct it to change its name.

(2) The direction must, if not duly made the subject of an application to the court under subsection (3), be complied with within a period of 6 weeks from the date of the direction or such longer period as the Registrar may think fit to allow. You can write to the Minister who can force the name change, although the company may challenge this in Court.

Imprisonment of company

I have read various laws of Tanzania and am thoroughly confused when the law mentions that the body corporate ie the company is guilty it shall be sentenced to imprisonment or fined or both. Now how can a company be sent to prison? Do you arrest the poor managers, directors or shareholders? Is that not unfair for sins of a company? GO, Moshi

It is true that you cannot sentence a corporate body as it is not a human being. However some of the laws actually provide that the directors or the managers will be sentenced to jail. In that case it is the directors and managers who are responsible for the acts of the company. However where the law does not specifically state so, you are right that one cannot imprison the company. To salvage such a situation, the Interpretation of Laws Act provides a fine mechanism in lieu of imprisonment and states in section 71 that (1) Every enactment relating to an offence punishable on conviction or on summary conviction shall be taken to refer to bodies corporate as well as to individuals.

(2) Where under a written law, a forfeiture or penalty is payable to a party aggrieved, it shall be payable to a body corporate in every case where that body is the party aggrieved.

(3) Except where otherwise expressly provided, where the penalty prescribed in a written law in respect of an offence does not consist of or include a fine, the court before which the offence is tried may, in the case of a body corporate, impose a fine– (a) where a term of imprisonment not exceeding six months is prescribed, a fine of two million shillings; (b) where a term of imprisonment exceeding six months but not exceeding one year is prescribed, a fine of three million shillings; (c) where a term of imprisonment exceeding one year but not exceeding two years is prescribed, a fine of five million shillings; (d) where a term of imprisonment exceeding three years is prescribed, a fine of ten million shillings. You can see that instead of the corporate being imprisoned it is fined.

Exclusivity of the national oil company

I am intending to invest in the oil and gas sector in Tanzania.Am I free to sell the gas I extract to anyone in Tanzania that I wish at whatever price I want? RE, Dar

Unfortunately if you are a new player, after discovery, you will likely come under the ambit of the Petroleum Act 2015 which has introduced, unlike its predecessor law the Petroleum (Exploratoion and Production) Act 1980, the concept of an aggregator who has the exclusive right to purchase, collect and sell natural gas from producers save for LNG for export purposes. The aggregator thus has the exclusive right to purchase gas from you and then to sell it in the local market. This is a big problem for many private players since the aggregator needs to have the financial muscle to pay for this gas and at the same time should be able to pay a reasonable price that must be negotiated. Hence if you are unable to negotiate the price, you might never be able to sell.

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A M not going to make new year resolutions that I may not keep. But I want to direct my fire at a few culprits whose exploits are threatening the tranquility of this oasis of peace called Tanzania.

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REETINGS people, hope you all had a Merry Christ- mas and looking forward God willingly to seeing the New Year and for the parents out there who have their children in school, not so looking for- ward to paying school fees.

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HAPPY new year to all our readers. In order to capture the current Christmas and new year festive mood , I have chosen to write about one interesting, but little known, aspect of our national history, which is directly related to what happened at the time of a similar festive season in the year of Tanganyika’s independence, 1961.    

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FOR several weeks, media organs have been reporting on the fate of ‘Faru John’ (38) who mysteriously vanished from the face of Planet Earth.

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AFTER celebrating Christmas, we are now preparing to say goodbye to the year 2016, and welcome 2017 in the next five days. Indeed, we have seen enough of 2016 with all its astonishments, uncertainties, and promises as well.

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AM SURE, THIS IS NOT THE FIRST TIME You might be hearing the famous dictum which states that “never put all your eggs in one basket”.

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I have started flying kites very high along coco beach. The police have started harrasing me that I cannot do so. We have had arguments with them and they have failed to shown me what provision of the law disallows me to fly kites. This is my country and I dont see why I should be disallowed to enjoy my airspace. Am I doing the right thing? What about drones for video shooting? YU, Dar

Flying kites at heights over 200 feet is illegal under our laws. The Civil Aviaton (Operation of Aircraft) Regulations states in Regulation 17 that (1) A person shall not, within the United Republic of Tanzania (a) fly a captive balloon or kite at a height of more than 200 feet above the ground level or within 200 feet of any vessel, vehicle or structure; (b) fly a captive balloon within an aerodrome traffic zone; (c) fly a balloon exceeding 6 feet in any linear dimension at any stage of its flight, including any basket or other equipment attached to the balloon, in controlled airspace; (d) fly a kite within an aerodrome traffic zone; (e) moor an airship; or (f) fly a free balloon at night, without the permission in writing of the Authority, and in accordance with any conditions subject to which the permission may be granted. (2) A captive balloon when in flight shall not be left unattended unless it is fitted with a device which ensures automatic deflation if it breaks.

(3) An unmanned free balloon shall be operated in such a manner as to minimise hazards to persons, property or other aircraft. Therefore flying a kite at heights over 200 feet is illegal and you may be charged for doing so as you are endangering the safe navigation of aircraft.As for drones for video shooting, it is very likely that along the same spirit drones are also disallowed be it for video shooting or otherwise. We recommend you contact the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority for more information.

Bajaj breakdown, refund of fare

I paid a Bajaj driver to take me to Ubungo bus stand. Nearly half way through, the Bajaj broke down and I had to use another Bajaj to ferry me. The first Bajaj driver refused to refund atleast 50% of my fare.Are there any rules I can refer to that can show me my rights in such a scenario? FF, Dar

Fortunately under SUMATRA, there are specific regulations called the Transport Licensing (Motorcycles and Tricycles) Regulations 2010 which has a clear provision that states if such a journey as yours is terminated because of a breakdown, then the passenger is entitled to refund of the remaining part of the journey. Hence you were entitled to atleast 50% of the fare you had paid. If you wish to pursue this, you can report this to SUMATRA for action.

Commercial Court judgment not delivered

I went to the Commercial Court and we completed hearing and final submissions six months ago but the judgment has not been issued till date.I am disappointed. The Court has not lived upto to my expectations. What do I do? GO, Dar

Generally the Commercial Court is a fast track Court. Commercial Court Rule 67 states that (1) The Court shall, at the conclusion of hearing deliver judgment within a period of sixty days in case of a judgment or thirty days in case of ruling. (2) Where a Judge fails to comply with the provisions of sub rule (1), he shall state in the Court record the reason for such failure.

(3) Every judgment shall embody at the end a summary of the reliefs granted by the Court. You will note that judgment must be delivered within 60 days. We recommend you go see the judge in charge or registrar at the Commercial Court who can address this issue. Rights on my farm I own a very large farm which has its own roads inside. Do I need to wear a seatbelt on my farm roads? Can I make my own rules for my roads? I want to get the feel of being home- can I drive on the right hand of the road. Are the police allowed into my private property?

Are there any offences in the traffic laws that provide strictly for imprisonment? TY, Morogoro You must be reminded that you own a farm not a country and hence bound by the laws of Tanzania. The Road Traffic Act and the various traffic regulations dictate that one must wear a seatbelt at all times when driving on a road.

Road is defined as any road, highway, way, street, bridge, culvert, wharf, car park, footpath or bridle path on which vehicles are capable of travelling and to which the public has access whether or not such access is restricted and whether subject to any condition, but does not include any road within the curtilage of a dwelling house. Bearing the above in mind, although you own the farm, you are still bound by the Road Traffic Act and cannot have your own rules or drive on the right hand side of the farm roads. Furthermore the police are allowed in any property, be it a farm or otherwise.

To answer your last question, section 40 of the Road Traffic Act is one of the sections that only provides, as a punishment, only a custodial sentence of a minimum of 3 years (without an option of a fine). It states that (1) Any person who causes bodily injury to, or the death of, any person by the driving of a motor vehicle or trailer recklessly or at a speed or in a manner which having regard to all the circumstances of the case, is dangerous to the public or to any other person shall be guilty of an offence.

(2) Any person who, while under the influence of drink or drugs to such an extent as to be incapable of having proper control of the vehicle, is in charge of a motor vehicle or trailer and by an act or omission in relation thereto causes bodily injury to, or the death of, any person shall be guilty of an offence.

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IF you were to ask what Christmas means for Americans you would get something completely different from our Tanzanian situation. Most Americans celebrate Christmas.

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Recently, a friend and fellow columnist, wrote about the furor that was caused at a certain international airport when he was requested upon arrival to that country to declare the amount of money that he had on him.

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In 1999, I celebrated Christmas in Turin, northern Italy where I had been invited by a friend. By then I was a student at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, so I had to travel 695 kilometers by bus to reach my destination.

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 GREETINGS to you all and a fabulous Merry Christmas. Hoping that this festive period finds you all in mellow moods and at peace with each other.

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THE story on President John Magufuli’s surprise visit to Ukonga Prison does not want to die; it keeps on haunting the very members of the Prison Service and I have been flooded with lots of comments following my last piece in this column on Prison Officials.

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