Student bank account overseas

Is a Tanzanian student allowed to open a bank account in an overseas country? What about a normal Tanzanian citizen who has no connection to that country? Is foreign exchange still controlled in Tanzania? If someone has a Swiss bank account as a Tanzanian national, is this allowed? GU, Dar

As is the case in other countries, foreign exchange is still controlled in Tanzania and governed by the Foreign Exchange Act, its regulations and various other circulars and more particularly a circular issued by the Bank of Tanzania in 1998.

A student who is resident in any other country that he is studying is not disallowed to open an account there. It would paralyse the individual if there were such restrictions. Any other citizen, who is resident in Tanzania, cannot open an overseas bank account without approval of the Bank of Tanzania.

This would not apply if that person was a resident (not necessarily citizen) of any other country. Generally speaking, remittances from Tanzania are allowed for medical, education, importation, imported services and staff salary remittances purposes. Otherwise, remittances require approval of the Governor of the Bank of Tanzania. Hence, any accounts one may have in Swiss banks, unless opened with the permission of the Bank of Tanzania, are not allowed.

Wife to be rejects me

I got engaged to a woman who has now changed her mind. I have spent a lot of time planning the marriage only to be met with this new resistance. How can you help me? I could have married a very rich girl had it not been for this engagement. I need to get this sorted. PP, Morogoro

We are not sure how to assist you other than provide some legal guidance. To break the bad news first, you cannot force your fiancé to get married to you. She has a right to break the engagement and all you can do is claim damages from her.

The Law of Marriage Act provides for this in section 69 and states: right to damages for breach of promise of marriage (1) a suit may be brought for damages for the breach of a promise of marriage made in Tanzania whether the breach occurred in Tanzania or elsewhere, by the aggrieved party or, where that party is below the age of eighteen years, by his or her parent or guardian: Provided that (a) no suit shall be brought against a party who, at the time of the promise, was below the age of eighteen years; (b) no damages shall be awarded in any such action in excess of loss actually suffered as a result of expenditure incurred as a direct result of the promise. (

2) A suit may similarly be brought in respect of the breach of a promise of marriage made in any other country but only if such an action would lie under the law of that country as well as under this Act.

(3) No suit shall be brought for specific performance of a promise of marriage. Having read the above, you will observe that the maximum you can do is claim damages from your fiancé for actual damages suffered. Hence, if the rich girl ‘you missed’ would have bought you a mansion, that will not be part of damages that you suffered under our laws. However, amounts spent in planning a wedding, can be claimed back in the suit.

Choice of law in contract

We are a company in Tanzania purchasing some huge machinery from a European manufacturer. We want to know what choice of law we should put in the purchase agreement as we would like to use Tanzanian law? How can we secure ourselves in the transaction? Any other guidance you can give us will be appreciated. IY, Dar

Such purchase agreements are quite common in international trade. Considering that the manufacturer is based in Europe, and you are here, any issues arising out of the purchase agreement will likely have to be enforced against the supplier in Europe. European Courts will unlikely adjudicate on a matter that has Tanzanian law as the choice of law. Further, assuming Tanzanian law is agreed and Tanzanian Courts do decide in your favour, you will still need to go execute against the supplier in Europe, which will, depending on the exact European country you are dealing in, mean that you reopen the case in Europe. We would recommend you engage a lawyer in the country of purchase, and proceed choose the law of that country as we believe adjudication and execution will be easier. Your lawyer there can also look at pros and cons of having an arbitration clause in the agreement. To secure yourselves in this transaction, we recommend you ensure the purchase agreement is vetted or drafted by a local lawyer in the country of purchase, payment modality be through a letter of credit, you purchase adequate insurance, you conduct pre shipment inspection and get a technical person to look at the machines, ensure you have a warranty or extended warranty, get recommendations of the supplier and do thorough background checks of both the machines and persons you are dealing with.

Building structure near shore

What is the minimum distance from the shore that one can start building a concrete structure? I see some hotels and houses which have started building right on the shore and disallowing anyone from passing the beach in front of them. Is this legal? EY, Mtwara

Amongst other legislation, the Environmental Management Act states that no human activities of a permanent nature or which may, by their nature, likely to compromise or adversely affect conservation and, or the protection of ocean or natural take shorelines, river bank, water dam or reservoir, shall be conducted within sixty metres.

This is the sixty metre rule and any permanent structure built within 60 metres would have been built illegally. You can report this to the National Environmental Management Council and your local city council for action. Further, the beach is public property and no one can be stopped from passing the beach.

  • This column is intended to give you a general overview of the Law. It is not a substitute to the role of your legal advisor. If you have legal issues, you are strongly recommended to contact your attorney.
  • Send in your questions by email to: qa@fbattorneys.co.tz or by post to: Q&A with FB Attorneys C/o The Daily News, P. O. Box 9033 DSM, Tanzania

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