Court rejects TAFFA election case

DAR ES SALAAM: THE Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday rejected a suit lodged by Jambo Kwanza Limited, a Clearing and Forwarding Company, against the Board of Registered Trustees of Tanzania Freight Forwarders Association (TAFFA) in the dispute involving leadership election.

Principal Resident Magistrate Amir Msumi reached such a decision after Advocate Elias Lugomela, for Jambo Kwanza Limited, the plaintiff, conceded to some points of preliminary objections raised by Counsel for TAFFA, Anindumi Semu from Makoa Law Chambers, that the suit in question was incompetent.

“Following the concession by the counsel for the plaintiff on points of preliminary objections raised, (…) this court holds that this suit is incompetent and it is hereby struck out with costs,” the Magistrate declared in his short ruling in the case, which also comprised the Administrator General, as the second defendant.

In the points of objections, the Counsel for TAFFA, the first defendant, had contended that the court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the suit and that it was bad in law for having a defective verification clause, which does not disclose the source of information.

Advocate Semu stated that the suit was bad in law for want of cause of action against his client and for lacking statutory notice to sue the government as per section 6 (1) (2) and (3) of the Government Proceedings Act.

The counsel stated also that the suit was bad in law for want of board resolution to institute the suit for the plaintiff, for being filed with the entity with no locus and for being presented prematurely.

In the suit, the plaintiff had sought for declaration that the 2023 intended TAFFA election is unconstitutional for non-compliance with the Association’s Constitution.

The plaintiff had also applied for court orders against the Administrator General of Registration, Insolvency and Trusteeship Agency (RITA) to appoint interim leaders who will run the Association until the constitutional election to get proper leaders is done.

It was alleged that on July 26, 2023, TAFFA members through their Annual General Meeting (AGM), which was held at Golden Jubilee elected Election Committee which had to prepare, supervise and count votes during the election in 2023, among other duties.

The said Committee, pursuant to the amended Constitution of TAFFA of 1995, ought to be elected by members at the Tri-Annual General Meeting (TAGM) after the Electoral Committee being, first selected by members at the Annual General Meeting at most one year prior to the TAGM.

It was alleged, therefore, that the Election Committee was unlawful for non-compliance with the TAFFA Constitution.

On August 24, 2023, the Election Committee issued notice to all members of TAFFA in respect of an election to be conducted on October 25, 2023, knowingly that is acting unlawfully, with no justification, authority and, or power from TAFFA Constitution.

It was alleged further that the insurance of such notice by the Committee was unlawful and, or unconstitutional and rendered the particular notice void for non-compliance with the TAFFA Constitution.

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