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Wife refuses to sleep in same bed

I have married a woman who used to be a former model. Whilst we are having a healthy relationship, she says we should sleep on separate beds and separate rooms. There are no issues with cohabiting, the issue is simply the sleeping part. She also doesn’t let me enter the bathroom when she is in there. Is it legal for her to sleep in a separate room, and if she continues to do so, is this a ground for divorce? Can I get a Court order to force her to sleep in one room with me? IF, Dodoma

The law is silent on what rooms a husband and wife should be sleeping. If everything was addressed in our marriage laws including what to wear, what to eat, what to do and what not to do, marriage would become robotic!

We are, thus, not surprised that this has not been provided for under our laws. In any case, based on what you are telling us, we believe there is no illegality on you two sleeping in separate rooms and separate beds provided it is mutual.

The issue is whether her refusal to sleep in the same room with you is a ground for divorce. For that we turn to the Law of Marriage Act which has laid out the following grounds for divorce, and within which grounds you must fall for your marriage to be annulled: (a) adultery committed by the respondent, particularly when more than one act of adultery has been committed or when adulterous association is continued despite protest; (b) sexual perversion on the part of the respondent; (c) cruelty, whether mental or physical, inflicted by the respondent on the petitioner or on the children, if any, of the marriage; (d) willful neglect on the part of the respondent; (e) desertion of the petitioner by the respondent for at least three years, where the court is satisfied that it is willful; (f) voluntary separation or separation by decree of the court, where it has continued for at least three years; (g) imprisonment of the respondent for life or for a term of not less than five years, regard being had both to the length of the sentence and to the nature of the offence for which it was imposed; (h) mental illness of the respondent, where at least two doctors, one of whom is qualified or experienced in psychiatry, have certified that they entertain no hope of cure or recovery; (i) change of religion by the respondent, where both parties followed the same faith at the time of the marriage and where according to the laws of that faith a change of religion dissolves or is a ground for the dissolution of marriage.

Whether you can use cruelty or willful neglect to divorce will depend on further facts that you should provide your lawyer. However, prior to meeting a lawyer, we suggest you meet a marriage counsellor as you might get a more practical solution. Lastly, it is very unlikely that any Court will grant you an order that she sleeps in the same room as you.

Transferring my degree

I wish to transfer my architecture degree to my brother. The university has refused and I want to sue them. Can you take this case, how much will you charge and what are my chances? UG, Dar

In our wildest dreams we wouldn’t think that this is possible. A degree is proprietary to you and is not transferable. It is not a tradeable or transferable document and no university in the world will ‘transfer’ a degree. We find it hard to understand how you even thought of this concept. How would your brother perform not being a qualified architect? We doubt if any lawyer will be able to succeed on this case. Your chances are close to zero but you may know things that we don’t! Good luck.

I want my citizenship back

I married a foreigner and moved to his country where I became a citizen there. After ten years of marriage, we divorced and I have now come back to Tanzania, and want to become a citizen of Tanzania. Am I allowed to revert to my original citizenship? My consultants say that because I dumped my previous citizenship, I now cannot become a Tanzanian citizen. What should I do? WP, Dar

Section 13 of the Citizenship Act provides for exactly such a scenario and states the following: 13.-(1) If any citizen of the United Republic of full age and capacity makes a declaration in the prescribed manner renouncing his citizenship of the United Republic, the Minister may cause the declaration to be registered and upon that registration the person in question shall cease to be a citizen of the United Republic. (2)

The Minister may refuse to register any declaration referred to in subsection (1) if it is made during any war in which the United Republic may be engaged or if, in his opinion, it is in any other way contrary to public policy; but notwithstanding the refusal of the Minister, the person concerned shall cease to be a citizen of the United Republic at the time prescribed under this Act.

(3) Notwithstanding anything in this Act or any other written law to the contrary, any woman who is a citizen by birth of the United Republic who renounces her citizenship of the United Republic upon getting married to a citizen of another country may, where the marriage breaks down, revert to her citizenship by birth of the United Republic on such conditions as the minister may, by regulations published in the Gazette impose.

Section 12(3) allows you to once again become a citizen of Tanzania. Issues of dumping or otherwise are not an issue and unless you have withheld information from us, your consultants are misguiding you.

  • 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  
  • 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.

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Author: FB Attorneys

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