Construction sector leads in commercial disputes

TANZANIA Institute of Arbitration (TIArb) has said that in the past six months alone it has received a total of 42 new cases most of which are disputes in the construction sector, followed by the communications sector.

Addressing the media in Dar es Salaam on Monday, the institute’s Secretary, Usaje Mwambene, said that other cases involve disputes between businesses, businesses against the government, and private individuals.

He was speaking during the launch of activities to mark the 26th anniversary of the institute, which will be marked by a myriad of weeklong activities set to climax on Friday with the holding of the 6th Annual Arbitration Conference.

“The construction sector has become a beacon for having many disputes and the communication sector comes next, some are normal business relations and some are between the government and individuals,” he said.

TIArb also assured that they have resolves many commercial disputes in the country most of which resulted in a win-win situation for the disputing parties, but they would divulge further details for ethical reasons.

For his part, TIArb Vice-President, Aderickson Njunwa said that among the activities this year will be to sensitize the public on issues related to arbitration and the theme for this year is “Arbitration in the 4th Industrial Revolution”.

“There is a revolution in the technology used in doing business right now and it is crucial for people to understand alternative ways to resolve and settle their disputes before they are brought to court,” he said.

Njunwa said their main activity is to coordinate and resolve commercial disputes as an alternative to the court system.

“Tanzania is currently open to investment and the availability of alternative channels to resolve disputes serves as an assurance to prospective investors,” he said.

Another activity carried out by the institution is to develop the skills and build the capacity of alternative arbitrators as it is a profession that requires expertise.

The conference was also grace by Judge Zainabu Mango from the Arbitration Centre of the High Court of Tanzania, who commended the institution for helping the courts in resolving disputes.

“The institute is an important stakeholder in matters of arbitration, the court has the primary responsibility to ensure that justice is served in Tanzania and we cannot reach that goal alone, there are many disputes to address,” she said.

Judge Mango said in the past, it was common for people to go to arbitration and they must have a written clause in their contracts before coming to court to be heard.

“In recognition of the ongoing changes in the world our laws on the conduct of civil proceedings have been amended in 2021 to allow the settlement of disputes in court even if they are brought to court by default,” she said.

She also said that by using the services of the institute, people will save time and resources compared to going to court and thus encouraged the public to make the most of the services provided by TIArb.

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