Midwife causes C section in midst of labour

I was doing fine in my normal delivery until the midwife started making weird remarks about ‘enjoyment during intercourse, and pain now being the consequence thereof’ that really made me give up and I ended up in theatre for a C section with a terrible and ugly scar. I am one of the fittest women in Dar and had the midwife not made such remarks I would have delivered normally which my gym instructor can vouch for. I want to sue and want your advice whether this is tenable. RE, Dar

This is a very interesting question. Your case needs to be properly assessed by your lawyer as apart from being fit before and during pregnancy, it does not mean that you will automatically deliver normally. Even some of the top stars have delivered by C section including Britney Spears, Elizabeth Hurley, Victoria Bekham, Jenifer Lopez amongst others. In fact there was a rumour that these ladies were too ‘posh to push’ but a good number of them had C sections because of the complications during normal delivery. There is no doubt that C sections have become quite common to ensure that the mother and child are safe, not only because women have become lazier, as some seem to suggest (there is a theorem that let the men also experience labour). It could be a result of genetics, the time you have been in labour, exercises that you did, the size of the passage amongst others. There is, of course, always the possibility that you were demotivated by your midwife but that might not be the only factor and when you sue, which you can, you must provide enough evidence to show that it was the midwife who caused you the C section, and demonstrate what damages you are entitled to. Having said this, the midwives are governed by the Nursing and Midwifery Act in Tanzania, a law we believe is not the most well-known but which provides for you to complain against the midwife to the registrar. You can also consider this route. Your gym instructor can be a witness on your fitness but remember he is neither a doctor nor a midwife to be able to adduce medical evidence. Unless there are facts that we do not about him and you, he can only likely talk about your general fitness not your medical fitness to deliver a child normally. We wish you all the best and recommend that you consult your lawyer.

Notice of offence by TRA

Despite being ready to resolve my differences with the TRA, I have now been issued with a notice of offence by them. I fail to understand how this arises and what to do next? Please guide. GW, Mwanza

A notice of offence is not the end of the world for you. It is provided for under the Tax Administration Act (TAA) and the TAA regulations and TRA have the right to issue it.

It must contain what the offence is and the amount thereon for you to consider whether you want to compound ie pay the amount and the fine to resolve the matter and not get prosecuted.

Under regulation 100 you have the right to request for compoundment of the offence within 7 days of service of such notice of offence. The regulations have a specific format for such request which you must follow.

The request under this regulation shall be accompanied by a written statement of admission of the offence committed and acceptance of terms and conditions of compounding the offence including fine imposed under the TAA.

The Commissioner then has 30 days within which to decide on this request and our experience is that so long as you are ready to pay the taxes involved and the fines, the request is usually accepted and a compounding order is issued.

Where the Commissioner General has issued a notice of offence and the offender has not applied for the offence to be compounded within the 7 days above, the Commissioner General shall institute criminal proceedings.

Considering that you were ready to resolve the matter from the outset we highly recommend that you compound the offence and close the matter amicably. TRAs interest as we know it is not to prosecute but to allow you to pay and continue your business.

Request to be buried in private plot

My father bought a plot not very far from the centre of the city of Dar es Salaam. He has started construction of a house in the said plot planning for our family to move there. We have one small problem- our father has ordered us to bury him in that plot when he passes away. We do not have any objections but are unsure if the law allows this. I see the government has set aside areas which are public cemetery in many places including our neighborhood. Is my father’s wish not an offence or does it not amount to change of use of the land? Please advice. KD, Dodoma

We are not aware of any law which imposes a legal obligation to bury a person in a public cemetery or prohibits burial in one’s own plot. The issue of place of burying may be subject to one’s decision and/or his family members’ decision. It is not an offence for one to be buried in their plot as long as burial permits are obtained from authorities before such burial.

Our opinion is that the burial of your father will not amount to a change of use of the land. The plot will still be used for residential purposes despite presence of a grave. The grave might reduce the value of the plot as many people are not very receptive to living near graves. It would be wise to advise your father to be buried in a public cemetery as it is more convenient in the future.

However different people have different beliefs and we must learn to respect them. Meanwhile we hope and pray that your father lives as long as he can!

  • Send in your questions by email to:
  • qa@fbattorneys.co.tz
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  • Daily News, P. O. Box 9033 DSM, Tanzania

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