Husband breach of contract
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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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