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Police officer loses dismissal appeal

THE High Court has dismissed the case lodged by Ex-F. 5553 Police Constable (CP), Gerald Tuji Kavelaga, who was challenging the dismissal of his employment services with the Tanzania Police Force for professional misconduct.

Judge John Kahyoza ruled in favour of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the Attorney General (AG), who were defendants in the matter, after holding that the suit by CP Gerald, the plaintiff, was time barred.

The judge noted that the cause action in the instant case arose on January 10, 2013 when the plaintiff was terminated and, according to the Law of Limitation Act, he was required to institute the suit before the expiry of six years.

“Six years expired on or before January 10, 2019. Thus, the plaintiff instituted the suit on September 9, 2019 out of time and without leave of this Court,” Judge Kahyoza said.

According to him, the plaintiff may have reasons for the delay, but such reasons should have supported his application for leave to institute the suit out of time.

In other words, he said, the plaintiff was required to first apply for extension of time to institute the suit from the relevant authority before he filed the instant suit.

The judge pointed out that it was a general principle of law that the remedy available to a case which is not heard on merits is to strike it out and not to dismiss.

He was, however, quick to point out that he was of the view that the aforesaid principle has an exception and the only exception is in limitation of time.

Judge Kahyoza went on explaining that the law of Limitation Act under section 3(1) provides that any proceeding which is instituted out of time must be dismissed.

“Such dismissal is, however, is not a bar to subsequent proceedings, such as an application for extension of time or re-filing of the appeal after being granted extension of time. For the above reasons, I dismiss the suit for being time barred with costs,” he declared.

The Inspector General of Police employed the plaintiff and terminated his employment on January 10, 2013. The plaintiff appealed against termination.

On September 10, 2017, however, the appellate body quashed the plaintiffs appeal, confirming his termination

. As result, the plaintiff instituted the current suit on September 9, 2019, claiming for compensation for unlawful termination.

Kavelaga also prayed to this Court to quash the decision of the Inspector General of Police to terminate him and to order his reinstatement. He claimed that his dismissal procedure was unjustified and unreasonably.

He made administrative pursuit to have the decision reversed by appeal to the Inspector General of Police but the efforts proved futile on the unreasonable and unfair decision.

The defendants filed their defence and contended that the suit was not maintainable on the ground that Kavelaga filed the suit out of time, that he omitted to plead facts showing that the court has jurisdiction as required by law and that he did not issue a 90 days’ notice to the defendants before instituting a suit.

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Author: FAUSTINE KAPAMA

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