- Published on Wednesday, 11 July 2012 02:15
- Written by FB ATTORNEYS
- Hits: 1001
I am a foreign consultant and have always noted that many of the government departments. Ministries and also parliament websites are either not updated or provide information that is old, irrelevant and inappropriate. To give you an example, one website still refers to the President as being Benjamin Mkapa.
The national government website still has names of some of the old Ministers. Even worse some of the websites have the old laws posted and other websites have links that never open. Is there no website law that makes it an offence for posting such kind of old information?
This is the year 2012 and such lethargy should not be accepted especially when maintaining a website does not require a massive amount of a budget but mere commitment. How can this be sorted out? If I have relied on information on any of these websites, can I sue that department?
Unfortunately there is no law that we are aware of that makes this an offence. However good governance principles and common sense dictate that these departments, ministries, agencies, as the case may be, should update the websites on a daily or at the least weekly basis. Since you seem to have a list of all such websites, it is not unwise to write to these institutions to alert them on this anomaly.
Your second part of the question cannot be answered without us knowing how you relied upon the information and what other sources were available with you to check prior to relying on the information. Generally your claim will not succeed if you had constructive knowledge, as you seem to have, of the website not having been updated. If that is the case, we do not believe you have very high chances of succeeding. Your attorneys can guide you further after you disclose all facts to them.
Registering birth of child
My wife and I had a beautiful boy who was delivered by a traditional nurse at home in our village. I believe my son has special powers and I don’t want to register him as having been born. What should I do? Is it necessary for me to register him?
The Births and Deaths Registration Act makes it compulsory for you to register the birth of your child. The Act clearly states that in the case of every child born alive after the commencement of this Act, the registration of whose birth is compulsory, it shall be the duty of the father and mother, and, in default of the father and mother, of the occupier of the house in which to his knowledge such child is born, and of each person present at the birth, and of the person having charge of such child, to register the birth within three months of the birth.
Under the act if any person who, being under an obligation to register the birth or death of any person, refuses to register or to state any of the prescribed particulars, shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding five hundred shillings or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one month, or to both such fine and imprisonment. Registering your child is thus mandatory and imprisonable if you do not comply. The reason of not wanting to
register your child because of ‘special powers’ is not recognized under the law. It is unlikely that these special powers will disappear if you register your child.
Witnesses related to each other
A friend of mine was arrested, tried and convicted of rape and sentenced to life imprisonment and strokes of the can. He informs me that the prosecution only brought two witnesses both of whom were related to the apparent victim. My friend says that it was consensual sexual intercourse. Don’t you need more witnesses to sentence someone so harshly? Can two witnesses be related to one another? Can this not amount to miscarriage of justice? Isn’t life imprisonment too harsh a sentence?
The law is settled in that there is no minimum number of witnesses that must be called to testify in a given case. Section 143 of the Evidence Act states that subject to the provisions of any other written law, no particular number of witnesses shall in any case be required for the proof of any fact. Hence the fact that only two witnesses were called is irrelevant. Your second question is on the witnesses being related to each other.
Again that is also not sufficient to discard such evidence. What is important is the credibility of these witnesses. As for the 30 years sentence, this is the minimum period provided for by the Law. It may be harsh but also look at the offence that was committed. The Judge has no discretion to reduce the minimum sentence laid out by the Law.
Indecent behavior on women
There is a very rich man who comes to our bar and indecently assaults, touches, passes rude comments about women there. He seems to be an untouchable but a regular patron. He has not raped anyone but engages in the above. What should we do?
In criminal law there is nothing like an untouchable. The Penal Code provides for this in that any person who unlawfully and indecently assaults any woman or girl is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for fourteen years. Whoever intending to insult the modesty of any woman utters any word, makes any sound, or gesture, or exhibits any object, intending that such word or sound shall be heard, or, that such gesture or object shall be seen by such woman, or intrudes upon the privacy of such woman , is guilty of a misdemeanor and is liable to imprisonment for one year.
A man does not only need to rape a woman to be guilty of an offence. The law recognizes other offences against women apart from rape. This behavior is criminal in nature and should be reported to the police who will proceed to arrest this man. You should also provide enough evidence that will allow the police and prosecution to take this matter to Court.