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Discriminatory business class upgrade

I was flying in an airline where the person next to me and I asked for a free upgrade to business class as it was empty. I was told ‘no’ to the request whereas the person next to me was upgraded. I find this highly discriminatory and intend to sue the airline. It has really upset me and I want to show the world that discrimination has no room in our country. Please guide how I can get a business class seat next time? GU, Arusha

The best way to secure a business class seat is to pay for it in advance and then enjoy it. Normally the price is 3 or 4 times more expensive than an economy class seat, and both the economy and business class passengers reach at the same time.

The difference is comfort and perhaps the level of service which you pay extra for. Coming to discrimination. Article 13 of our Constitution comes to your rescue and states that all persons are equal before the law and are entitled, without any discrimination, to protection and equality before the law. In your case, we are not sure how the upgrade choice was made.

Perhaps the person next to you was a frequent flyer or crew member. The form of discrimination you experienced needs to be further elaborated by you before we can guide you on chances of success. It is not an easy case but we recommend you meet your lawyer and explain this to her/him.

Police, PCCB getting involved in mortgages

I work for one of the 3 largest banks in Tanzania. Our core business is lending money to people, which we do effectively. Unfortunately, many borrowers do not have a good payment culture especially now that they are all being forced to pay taxes and be compliant, which they should have been in the first place. Abnormal profits have vanished and with an increasing number of non-performing loans, we see borrowers and mortgagors creatively trying to put pressure on the bank, or on those who buy assets from the bank. Of recent, many borrowers or mortgagors in the case of third-party guarantors are reporting to the police or even the PCCB that the mortgage was not properly registered or there was fraud and the like. All this happens mostly when the borrower has defaulted in paying and the bank tries to proceed with a sale. In some cases, even after the sale is concluded criminal investigations are being launched. Recently, even though a case was in Court, the police have been calling key staff from the bank with excess pressure being mounted on them to settle the matter by refunding the recovered funds. My question is, can the police start interfering in mortgages when it is plainly clear that the borrower is in default? I find it hard to understand why such organs are only looking at one side of the coin. I am not sure who is moving them but the rumour is that they only selectively are helping a few defaulters. What can we do? MD, Dar

We are not sure what the mortgagor or borrower has reported to the police or the anti-corruption watchdog. They might be claiming that the mortgage was illegally or fraudulently signed or registered, meaning that an investigation would be required. However, if there is pressure being mounted on the bank or the purchaser of the property to resolve the matter off court with threats of criminal prosecution or police custodial inconveniences, then the police or whoever else it is, is usurping their powers and this becomes a very serious matter on misuse of power and abuse of office. The banking industry is a key driver of an economy, and if bankers are pressured like this and defaulters getting away, it will have a negative multiplier effect on the economy and interest rates will go northwards. Based on the exact circumstances of your case, it is important that your bank formally lodges a complaint with the Inspector General of Police who can look into this. The Tanzania Bankers Association should also be doing more than what it is currently doing. Apart from engaging with the IGP, an engagement with the Bank of Tanzania governor in addition to the Tanzania National Business Council should be considered. If you do not act now, this will soon become the norm and an industry wide problem. We wish you good luck.

Hazardous work for pregnant woman

I am a technician in a company where I have been working for about four years now. Although the foreman knows that I am presently expecting and my due date is in the next two months, he has been assigning very hard jobs to me where I have to stand for long hours. I know he is intentionally doing this as my sister had turned down his proposal to marry him. Is there anything I can do to address this? CM, DSM

We wish to point out that the Employment and Labour Relations provides clearly that no employer shall require or permit a pregnant employee or an employee who is nursing a child to perform work that is hazardous to her health or the health of her child. The test above is subjective and depends on what exact job is assigned to you.

All in all, if the assignments given to you are hazardous to your pregnancy then that is against the law and the foreman needs to desist from such behavior. As a matter of creating a good atmosphere at work place and preventing abuse of powers, you may report this to your superior otherwise the matter is actionable under the law above.

On a different note if you expect to deliver in one month we wonder why you are still at work. The same law has given you an option of commencing your maternity leave any time from four weeks before the expected date. You may hence also ask your employer to start maternity leave. Your lawyers can guide you further.

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Author: FB Attorneys

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