Comparative law and justice/United Republic of Tanzania

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Katepanz 17:27, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

Animated-Flag-Tanzania.gif
Location Tanzania AU Africa
Zanzibar Sunset


Basic Information[edit]

A Brief History[edit]

Early History[edit]

The history of Tanzania begins more than 10,000 years ago with the hunter-gatherer communities south of the Olduvai Gorge in Northern Tanzania, where archeologists have found what they believed to be conclusive fossil evidence of the first humans called Homo habilis, existing at least a million and quarter years ago. From the time of approximately 1000 B.C., several migrations into the region occurred, continuing through the 18th century with the most considerable expansions taking place within the 15th and 16th centuries. By the 19th century, there was an estimated 200 chiefs ruling a population of about 200,000 within the Western and Central regions of what is now modern-day Tanzania.[1]

The slave trade followed this migration to the east coast. By 1839, over 40,000 slaves a year were being sold through Zanzibar, with many of those captured having died of disease and exhaustion before reaching the island.[2]

Colonialism[edit]

German traveler Karl Peters is attributed with the start of what would become modern colonialism of East Africa. Peters achieved several treaties with local rulers inhabiting the region and gained control of a coastal strip of the of Tanzania by lease agreement between a Sultanate and Germany. He became governor of the colony in 1891 and within a short time expanded agricultural activity to include coffee and cotton and sisal. Although cotton was a profitable crop around Lake Victoria, it was not befitting to the land of the south east region of the country. Yet, Karl Peters forced the locals to participate in producing the crop there, leading to civil unrest. Tribes united against the German colonists in what is known as Maji-Maji Rebellion in 1906. Fearful of the native uprising, the Germans burnt crops without regard, killing more than 250,000 from famine. Fired from the German colonial service, this event marked the end of Karl Peters' governance of the region, with his successor instituting laws against mistreatment of the locals. In 1918, World War I was well underway as the allies had captured much of German East Africa. Recognizing the overwhlming lack of food and famine, the League of Nations took control of the land, mandating Belguim with the area made up of what is now Burundi and Rwanda, while the remainder of the land was renamed Tanganyika and mandated to Britain. A system of indirect rule was established by the British colonial power with the intention of leaving room for indigenous leadership and institutions to form. Yet, as he colonial government continued to assume more control, a nationalist mentality among the natives grew. in 1929, the Tanganyika Africa Association(TAA) was established (initially titled the African Association and renamed in 1948 to represent aubstantial increase in support). With the increasing trade revenue due to World War II, along with the election of Julius Nyerere as the president of the TAA in 1953, the colony was on a road to becoming an independent nation. By 1954, Nyerere had transformed the TAA into a political organization, The Tanganyika African National Union. In 1960, the British government held a democratic election with TANU receiving all but one seat. In may of the following year, Julius Nyerere became the first prime minister of the new self-governing Tanganyika.[3]

Independence & Post-Colonial Era[edit]

On December 9, 1961, Tanganyika became fully independent. Two years later on December 10th of 1963, Zanzibar, controlled mostly by Arabs, also achieved full independence from British colonial rule. With a great deal of civil unrest, an organization known as UMMA seized control of the island declaring a Revolutionary [Image:LocationTanzania.png|200px|] Government of Zanzibar on January 11th of 1964. In April of that year, Tanganyika joined the island of Pemba and Zanzibar to for the United Republic of Tanzania. The constituion of this new nation included a level of autonomy of the evolutionary Government of Zanzibar along with establishing a dual role of the Zanzibar president as also the vice president of the United Republic of Tanzania.

As the first in control of the newly independent state, Julius Nyerere, with a socialist mentality, constructed a one-party political system. At the time of independence, Tanzania was the most under-developed and poorest nation of East Africa. The leader's Arusha Declaration in 1967 depicted a national policy based on socialism and self-reliance. Although Nyerere's system, along his decision of kiSwahili as the national language were unpopular, it did contibute positively to the nation-building process as it unified groups of conflicting ethnicities and religious beliefs throughout the mainland. On Zanzibar, however, opposition towadrs their union with what was formerly Tanganyika continued to grow and in 1972, Abeid Karume, the first president of the island, was assassinated and succeeded by Aboud Jumbe. In an effort to maintain control over Zanzibar and minimize unrest, Nyerere declared the island a one party state, establishing the new political party called Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM), Party of the Revolution. Ratified in April of 1977, CCM is still the dominant political party of Zanzibar today. In 1985, President Julius Nyerere was succeeded by Ali Hasaan Mwinyi. He continued to reman the chairman of the CCM until 1990.

As the newly elected president, Mwinyi moved away from the former leader's socialist form of governance by decreasing government spedning, encouraging foreign investment and in 1992, reinstituted a multi-party political system. In 1995, Tanzania's first multi-party elections were held, with Benjamin Mkapa, leader of the CCM emerging as the new president of the nation with approximately 70% of the vote. The CCM again won the vote in 2005 electing Jakaya Kikwete as president who continues to hold the office today.

Demography[edit]

The nationality of those who inhabit this East African nation is Tanzanian. The national capitol is Dar es Salaam, yet the city of Dodoma has recently been named the new legislative capital. The current population of Tanzania is 41, 048, 532 inhabitants. 43% of he population is under 15 years of age( Male:8,853,529 Female:8,805,810). 54.1% is between 15-64 years(Male:10,956,133 Female:11,255,868) and 2.9% is 65 years or older (Male: 513,959 Female:663,233). The sex ratio at birth is 1.03 males to every female. The median age for the total population is 18.3 years old. The median age for males is 18 years and for females is 18.5 years. The population growth rate is 2.04% annually.

People in Tanzania 2470 Nevit

The migration rate is -1.3 per every thousand of the population. The urban population is 25% of the entire population of Tanzania. The rate of urbanization is a 4.2% annual rate of change. Dar es Salaam is the largest city and current capital of Tanzania with the highest population consisting of 2,698,652 inhabitants. The city with the second largest population is Mwanza with a significantly smaller population of 436,801. The island of Zanzibar, having the third largest population, is comprised of 403,658 Tanzanians.On mainland Tanzania, 99% of inhabitants are of African ethnicity. 95% of these Africans are Bantu which consists of more than 130 tribes. The remaining 1% of the mainland population consists of those who are of Asian European and Arab. On the island of Zanzibar the population includes Africans, Arabs, and also people of both African and Arab ethnicity. Referring to religion, 35% of the mainland population holds indigenous beliefs while 35% is muslim and 30% is Christian. In Zanzibar, more than 99% of the island population is Muslim. The Constitution of Tanzania does not specify any one religion to be the established official religion of the country. The official language of Tanzania is Swahili (or Kiswahili) and is referred to as Kiunguja in Zanzibar. This language has a Bantu structure and origin yet also draws on a variety of other linguistic sources, including Arabic and English. Although Swahili is considered the official language of Tanzania, English is considered the second official language and is the primary language of commerce, administration and higher education. Along with several other local languages throughout the mainland and islands, Arabic is also commonly spoken in Zanzibar. While each ethnic group speaks its own local language, almost the entire population is fluent in the national language of Swahili and most Tanzanians with postsecondary educations speak Fluent English as well[4].

Geography[edit]

Tanzania is located on Eastern coast of the African continent,between Kenya and Mozambique and borders the Indian Ocean. The nation constitutes 947,300 sq. km., which is slightly larger than twice the size of California. There is 1,424 km of coastline. The nations of Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Malawi, Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia also border Tanzania.

Including the islands of Mafia, Pemba and Zanzibar, there is 885,800 sq. km of land and 61,500 sq km of water make up the area of Tanzania.

Mount Kilimanjaro seen from the air

The terrain includes plains along the coast, plateau in the central region and highlands in the north and south. The lowest point of elevation is 0 m, sea-level, at the Indian Ocean and the highest point is Mt. kilimanjaro, also the highest point on the continent of Africa standing at 5,895 m above sea level. The country is bordered by three of the largest lakes on the African continent: In the north, Lake Victoria, the second-largest lake in the world. In the west, Lake Tanganyika, the second-deepest lake in the world. And bordering the nation to the southwest is Lake Nyasa. The climate in Tanzania varies from tropical along the coast to temperate in the highlands. Natural hazards include flooding on the central plateau during rainy season as well as nation-wide drought in the dry season.[5]

Economic Development[edit]

Tanzania places in the bottom 10% of world economies regarding per capita income. The country's GDP (purchasing power) is $57.69 billion IN US dollars and by official exchange rate is $22.32 billion. The GDP per capita is US$1,400. The real growth rate is 6%. Tanzania's GDP is composed of 26.4% agriculture, 22.6 % industry and 50.9% services. 21.23 million Tanzanians make up the nation's labor force with 80% working in agriculture and the remaining 20% in industry and services. 36% of the population lives below the poverty line. The poorest 10% of households have an income that amounts to 2.9% of the national GDP while the most affluent 10% of the population accounts for 26.9% of the total GDP of Tanzania. The nation's budget revenues is $4.208 billion and budget expenditures is $5.159 billion. The inflation rate on consumer prices in 12.1%. The exchange rate is -1,317.5 Tanzanian shillings per every US dollar.

The economy of Tanzania is strongly dependent on agriculture, providing over a fourth of the total GDP and 85% of exports. Yet, only 4% of land area is in a condition to cultivate crops due to climatic conditions. Agricultural products include coffee, sisal, tea, cotton, cashew nuts, tobacco, cloves, corm, wheat, cassava, bananas, other fruits and vegetables, cattle, sheep and goats.

Another component to the economy is industry, which includes processing the agricultural goods as well as minor consumer goods. As of late, there has been an observed increase in industrial production and output of minerals, specifically gold.Tanzania has $ 3.206 billion in reserves of foreign exchange and gold. The industrial production growth rate is 6.7%. Processing of agricultural goods includes such products as beer, sugar, cigarettes and sisal twine. Other industries include diamonds, gold, iron mining, salt, soda ash, cement, oil refining, shoes, apparel wood products and fertilizer.

Exports out of Tanzania produce $ 2.976 billion US dollars. Major exports include gold, coffee, cashew nuts, and cotton. India, China Japan Netherlands,UAE, and Germany are Tanzania's major exporting partners. Imports, which include consumer goods, machinery and transportation equipment, industrial raw materials and crude oil produce $ 5.776 billion US dollars. Major importing partners include India, China, South Africa, Kenya, UAE, and Japan.

Dar es Salaam City Skyline

Recent banking reforms have also benefitted the economy by helping to increase private-sector growth and investment. Macroeconomic policies along with donor assistance from international corporations such as The World Bank and the IMF have supported a positive economic growth rate in Tanzania. As of 2009, external debt held by Tanzania was at % 7.07 billion dollars. There are 124 airports within Tanzania, only 9 of which have paved runways. There is 3,689 km of railways and 78,892 km of roadways.[6]

Health & Education[edit]

Education in Tanzania requires all children to attend school for a minimum of seven years (primary education) and also until the student has reached the age of 15. The educational process is organized through the utilization of the 2-7-4-2-3+ method. This approach includes an initial two years of pre-primary education, followed by seven years of required primary education, which is the only compulsory step within the process. This obligatory portion is followed by four years of ordinary level secondary education, then two years advanced level secondary education. The last step of the overall process is University education, which ordinarily covers a minimum of 3 years. The literacy rate, including those who have aged 15 years or older who can read and write in one or more of the included Swahili, English and Arabic languages is 69.4% of the total population. This accounts for 77.5% of men and 62.2% of women. Of the adult population that is 25 years and older, 49.4% have no formal schooling; 44% have incomplete/complete primary education and 5.5% have incomplete/complete secondary education. As of 2005, 46.1% of children transition from primary to secondary education. 47% for males and 45.2% for females. Of the total population, the completiong rate of primary schooling is 74.3%. This includes 75% of males and 73.2% of females. The average school life expectancy is 5.3 years. Education expenditures comprise 2.2% of the nation's GDP.


The life expectancy at birth is 52.01 years for the entire population, averaging 50.6 years for men and 53.5 for women. The fertility rate is 4.3 children born to every women. There are 34.29 births per 1,000 and 12.59 deaths per every 1,000 living. The infant mortality rate is 69.28 deaths for every thousand live births.

The degree of risk regarding major infectious diseases in Tanzania is very high. Food or waterborne diseases include bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever. Malaria and plague are vectorborne diseases and schistosomiasis is a water contact disease prevalent in the country. As of 2007, 1.4 million people were living with HIV/AIDS in Tanzania. This is the 6th highest rate in the world. The adult prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS is 6.2%, the 12th highest rate in the world. Approximately 96,000 deaths in this nation alone have resulted from this pandemic as of 2007.[7]

Governance[edit]

Structure of Government[edit]

The government of the United Public of Tanzania is a unitary republic based on multiparty parliamentary democracy. The system is largely based on the Westminster Parliamentary Model derived from its British Colonial Legacy. All authority over the state is controlled by both the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania, having authority over all union matters within the united Republic and all other matters concerning the mainland and the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar, having authority in all affairs concerning the island territory that are not stipulated as union matters within the constitution. Local government authorities, exercised through Regional and District Commissioners, are also in place to assist each of the central governments. Each of the two central governments is separately organized into three divisions, The Executive, The Judiciary and The Legislature[8]

Executive[edit]

The executive of the United Republic of Tanzania is made up of the President, the Vice-President, President of Zanzibar, the Prime Minister and Cabinet Ministers. The President of Tanzania is the Head of the State, the head of the government and Commander-in-chief of the armed forces. He is the leader of the executive of Tanzania.The executive of the United Republic of Tanzania is made up of the President, the Vice-President, President of Zanzibar, the Prime Minister and Cabinet Ministers. The President of Tanzania is the Head of the State, the head of the government and Commander-in-chief of the armed forces. He is the leader of the executive of Tanzania. The Vice-President is the main assistant to the President in all matters of the Republic. His responsibilities include following up the daily implementation of union matters, performing all duties assigned by the President, performing all the duties of the president when he is out of the office or country. President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete was elected in 2005 and is the current President of the United Republic of Tanzania, winning 80.3% pf the vote. Dr. Ali Mohammed Shein is the Vice President. Amani Karume was also re-elected as the President of Zanzibar. REF13 The Prime minister is the leader of government business in the National Assembly and he controls and executes the daily affairs of the government, as well as any other tasks he is assigned by the President. This position is appointed by the president from select members of the National Assembly who had been elected from the constituency. The president also appoints the cabinet ministers to the Prime Minister. The President of Zanzibar is the head of the executive for Zanzibar and is the Chairman of the Zanzibar Revolutionary Council.[9]

Judiciary[edit]

Tanzania's legal system is based on the English Common Law system and is a product of the legacy left behind by the former British Colonial power.

Chief Minister's Office, Chake Chake, Pemba Island, Tanzania


Tanzania has a five-level judiciary system combining the jurisdictions of tribal, Islamic, and British common law. Judges are appointed by the Chief Justice in all courts, except the Court of Appeals and the High Court where they are appointed by the president. Advocates defend clients in all courts, other than primary courts. There is no trial by jury.[10]

The court of Appeals was established with Article 108 of the Constitution and is the highest court in the nation. At the head of this court is a Chief Justice and Justices of Appeal. The Court of Appeal had the highest authority, therefore appeals of the High Courts of Tanzania and Zanzibar go to the Court of Appeal. The High Courts, established under Article 107, has unlimited original jurisdiction for all case types, executing matters of constitutional nature as well as election petitions. The High Court’s Main Registry is responsible for all civil and criminal matters. This court has developed 14 sub registries in various regions of the country and includes three specialized divisions; Commercial, Labour and Land. All appeals from Subordinate Courts will come to this court next. Subordinate courts include the Resident Magistrate and District Courts, which both have the same jurisdiction. Established under the Magistrate Courts Act of 1984, these courts are found in every district of Tanzania and receive appeals from Primary Courts. Primary courts are the lowest in the hierarchy and deal with both criminal and civil cases. Tribunals are also part of the judicial structure and include District Land and Housing Tribunal, Tax and Tax Appeals Tribunals, Labour Reconciliation Board, Tanzania Industrial Court as well as Fair Competition Tribunal. A party that is not satisfied with the ruling at the tribunal may also refer to the High Court for judicial review. Under the National Defense Act the Court Martial and Court Martial Appeal Court apply only to military for offenses committed in the course of duty. This court is presided by military officers and the Court Martial Appeal Court consists of a bench of High Court Judges, with a decision being final with no option for further appeal. Juvenile courts have also been established by the Children and Young Person Cap 13 and Childrens Act of 2010. These proceedings are conducted in camera abd are presided over by the District Magistarate.13. [11] Aside from sharing the Court of Appeal with mainland Tanzania, Zanzibar has a distinct and separate legal system. Through the constitution,, the High Court of Zanzibar does nto involve union matters and is concerned only with Zanzibar institutions of their jurisdiction. Under the High Court is the Magistrates Court, which has jurisdiction over all cases except those dealing with Islamic law, as such issues are reserved for Kadhi’s Court. The lowest level of this system is also Primary Courts.[12]

Legal Education[edit]

There are a number of Universities offering courses in law throughout Tanzania. Certificate in Law courses are taught at the other institutes of learning such as the Police College and have enabled successful candidates to pursue law degree courses.Any LL.B degree holder who has attended internship and study in two years can apply to sit the Bar exam which is held three times a year. The Bar exam is an oral interview conducted under a panel of the Council for Legal Education, which is composed of representatives of the Chief Justice of the United Republic of Tanzania, the Attorney General of the United Republic, the Dean of Faculty of Law of the University of Dar Es Salaam, and two representatives of the Law Society. A successful candidate is sworn in and enrolled as an Advocate of the High Court of Tanzania and sub-ordinate Courts as well.[13]

Legislature[edit]

The legislature in the parliament of the United Republic of Tanzania and includes the two comonenets of the President and the National Assembly. The Consitution gives the President authority to assent bills by parliament as a final step in converting a bill into a law. The National Assembly is the principal legistaltive body of the country. This organ of government has the authority, in representing their people, to oversee and be accountable for the government of the Republic and its duties. The head of the parliament is the speaker, who receives assistance from both the Deputy Speaker and the Clerks. The National assembly is constituted by one chamber with members elected from various constituencies throughout mainland and Zanzibar.[14] The law of the Constitution requires women to occupy at least thirty percent of the seats in parliament. These women are appointed by the representative political party for these seats that are kept aside depending on the number of seats the party wins. The 2005 election resulted in 75 seats for women, and by the end of that year, 91 seats were held by women. The current President Kikwete appointed seven women ministers and ten deputy ministers after taking office through this same election in 2005. Women also held 18 seats in the Zanzibar House of Representatives, consisting of 81 members.[15]

How Laws Are Made[edit]

The first source of law for the United Republic of Tanzania is the The 1977 Constitution


The constitutional history of Tanganyika traces its background from the 1961 Independence Constitution, which was adopted at the time of independence. The Constitution provides for a bill of rights, but also makes provision for a number of claw-back clauses. In other words the enjoyment of certain rights and freedoms under the constitution is not absolute, but subject to legal regulation. The Bill of Rights is found in part three of the first Chapter of the Constitution and the fundamental rights and freedom are stipulated in article 12 to 24, article 25 to 28 imposes duties on every individual to duties and obligations to respect the rights of others and society. Article 29 establishes the obligation of society to every individual. The second source of law is the Statutes or Acts of Parliament. The Laws Revisions Act of 1994 established that all legislations which were enacted by the pre independence colonial administration, as Orders in Council, can now be legally recognized as Acts. The third source is case law. These are cases from the High Court and Court of Appeal which are either reported or unreported and are be used as precedents. Reported Tanzanian cases are found in the Tanzania Law Reports, High Court Digests and East Africa Law Reports. The fourth source is Received Laws and include: Common Law, and Doctrine of Equity, Statutes of General Application of England, applicable before the 22 of July 1920, which is deemed to be the Reception date for English Law in Tanzania. The fifth source is the Customary and Islamic law, empowering courts to apply Islamic law to matters of succession in communities that generally follow Islamic law in matters of personal status and inheritance. International Laws, that is, Treaties and Conventions, are not self-executing. The Act of Parliament can apply treaties and conventions to which Tanzania is a party in the Courts in Tanzania only after ratification.[16]

Elections[edit]

Peaceful elections have been held in Tanzania since independence. Separate elections are held on the mainland and on Zanzibar where the citizens of the two parts of the union elect local officials, members of the national parliament and a national president of the union. Voters on Zanzibar elect an additional president of Zanzibar and members of the Zanzibar House of Representatives. The President and Vice President elected on the same ballot by popular vote for five-year terms (eligible for a second term). The registrar of political parties has sole authority to approve registration of any political party an dis responsible for enforcing regulations on registered parties. Parties with only provisional registration are permitted to hold public meetings and to recruit members in order to obtain a full registration and to be eligible to select a representative candidate for election, they have six months to submit a list of at least two hundred members throughout a minimum of ten of the 26 regions. this must include two of the five regions on Zanzibar.[17] The constitutional reforms of 1992 included the Political Parties act, allowing for the formation and organization of multiple political parties. Over 18 have been registered since that time and multi-party general elections have been held under the new multi-party system in 1995, 2000 and 2005.[18]



Voter Regulations[edit]

Any citizen of Tanzania that is of 18 years or older has the right to register as a voter in any public election in the country. A citizen can lose the right to vote for various reasons, including being under a declaration of allegiance with another country, has been sentenced to death by any court of Tanzania, is under a prison sentence exceeding six months, for being convicted of corrupt offenses in elections, as well as be declared of having an unsound mind. These discrepancies are included in Article 5 of the Constitution. A citizen must register to vote with a Registration Assistant where they will apply for registration and be photographed. Political party agents are allowed to witness this process. It is possible for voter registration to be denied for various reasons, in which case the citizen can object to the ruling.[19]

Judicial Review[edit]

Judicial review of legislative acts are limited to matters of interpertation and has not accepted compulsory ICJ Jurisdiction. The Constitution allows any person to challenge any law or act/omission, which contravenes his or her right, or the Constitution.[20]

Corruption[edit]

Corruption within lower administrative levels as well as by government officials is a severe problem in Tanzania. Parliament passed a Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bill in 2007, transforming the Prevention of Corruption Bureau into the Prevention and Combat of Corruption Bureau with further investigative powers. This was positively welcomed by the public sphere. The state does not prosecute corrupt officeholders as stern as it should by law, but more serious attempts are being made at the current time.[21]

The state also violates civil liberties from time to time, specifically freedom of assembly and upholding the rights of a person in police custody. The situation is much worse in Zanzibar where liberties can be severely violated. The lower courts are often overwhelmed by shortages of employees and materials and much of the public considers them inefficient and dishonest. This level of distrust for the legal system as well as the police force sometimes leads to civil disorder, worsening the situation.[22]

Criminal Law[edit]

Crime Rates[edit]

The threat of crime in Tanzania is considered critical, specifically in the more urban regions of Dar es Salaam and Arusha. Nighttime robberies, assaults, petty street crime, carjacking and home invasions are all common criminal offenses, yet there is not an exceptionally high rate of violent crime. With such widespread economic hardship, offenses committed are mostly crimes of opportunity and expatriates are usual targets due to their perceived wealth. [23]

In 2007, respondents to the National Victimization Survey reported slightly more than 1,500 crimes. About 70% of this group reported household crimes while the remaining 30% claimed the criminal offense was against that individual. Concerning household crimes, the most common was theft of livestock, bicycle and burglary by entry. Corruption and consumer fraud make up the large majority of crimes committed against an individual. [24]

As of 2004, the homicide rate was 7.52 people murdered for every 100,000 Tanzanians.[25] The most recent report on crime rates of the United Republic of Tanzania was produced in 2000. For every 100,000 people at that time, there were 10.05 offenses of rape, 14.05 aggravated assaults, 3.15 robberies, 89.22 crimes of burglary, 0.75 motor vehicle thefts and the rate of larceny was 80.15 for every 100,000 people. The rate of overall offenses in the year 2000 was 205.32 per every hundred-thousand Tanzanians.[26]

Punishment[edit]

Corporal Punishment[edit]

Corporal punishment was inherited by Tanzania through both former colonial powers of Germany and Britain. This form of punishment now can only be carried out on male offenders under the age of 45. Although the punishment of Caning has been outlawed on the island of Zanzibar in 2004, it is still practiced throughout mainland Tanzania. The sanction is usually combined with a prison sentence and in these cases, it is customary to receive half of the strokes of the cane at the start of the prison term, and the second half would take place at the end of the term. The punishment is administered privately in prison. The instrument can be no less than one half inch and no greater than five-eighths inch in diameter and 42 inched long. Crimes committed that most often result in this form of corporal punishment are severe and include rape and robbery among others.[27]


Juveniles can also be sentenced to caning, but this is usually given without the additional term of incarceration. In the case of a juvenile, the caning is often public, and takes place right in the courtroom regardless of who is in attendance. Corporal punishment in schools also take the form of caning in Tanzania. [28]

Capital Punishment[edit]

Capital punishment is still practiced in Tanzania, and the only two offenses that can lead to the death penalty are murder and treason. Section 197 of the Penal Code actually states that any person that has been convicted of murder will be sentenced to death. Therefore, a death sentence is not just one of many options, but is instead the only option, and a requirement for those who commit the crime of murder. Pregnant women are exempt from this obligation. Treason also requires the death penalty, yet "misprision of treason" can be punishable by incarceration for life. [29]

The Penal Code also excuses minors under the age of 18 from the death penalty. Statutes concerning punishment of death are very strict and not one person who has been convicted of treason has received the death penalty since 1961 when the nation became independent. And so the penalty of death has become the highest form of punishment for those convicted of treason, but is no longer mandatory. Capital punishment does remain the mandatory sanction for those convicted of murder in Tanzania. However, most prosecutions result in a verdict of manslaughter, an offense that does not require the convicted to die for his or her crime. The evidence of a murder case must be overwhelming in order to a murder conviction to result. If and when an offender does receive capital punishment for their offense, death is almost always carried out by hanging.[30]

Prisons[edit]

The objective of the Prisons Service Department of Tanzania is to keep all prisoners under safe custody and manage their rehabilitation. The punishment system of Tanzania is based on rehabilitation of those who have committed crimes. the national Prison Serves function to maintain prison security and prisoner control, initiate and review policy and legislation on the service, manage prison infrastructure, provide professional development of prison officers and rehabilitate all types of prisoners.[31]

Incarceration Rates[edit]

As of 2007, there were approximately 43,244 prisoners incarcerated in Tanzania, nine percent of which are females and only two percent who are foreign prisoners. There are 116 prisoners per every 100,000 people. Of those incarcerated, 49% are pre-trial detainees whose share of prison capacity is filled 190.5%. Today, the TPS is made up of 122 institutions, 21 regional offices, two staff training centers, four Vocational Training Facilities and a Head Office. The regional offices provide administrative oversight, while the head office manages all prisons stations countrywide. The TPS is responsible for the custody and care of more than 45,000 inmates while its accommodation capacity is only 22,669. The service's 11,639 employees ensure the security of prisons countrywide, providing inmates with needed programs and services.[32]

Conditions[edit]

Prisons nationwide have become severely overcrowded for this east African country. This has prevented serious offenders from being housed separately. The government has worked to expand the prison service, but efforts are unable to keep up with the increasing prison population. Living conditions are very poor, as the food provided is not sufficient and prisoners are often moved spontaneously without notifying their relatives. Limited treatment is available within prisons, and diseases and resulting deaths are on the rapid increase. Prisoners are required to be separated by age and gender according to The Prisons Act. [33]

Law Enforcement[edit]

The Tanzania Police Force[edit]

The Police Force of Tanzania is a single centralized organ with an organizational structure of hierarchy where the Headquarters is at the top and power is distributed downwards to Regional units, districts and police station tiers. The Head of Police is the Inspector General of Police who supervises and is in charge of the entire force. Five commissioners, including the Commissioners of Zanzibar, Administration and Finance, Operations and Training, Commissioner of Dar es Salaam and the Director of Criminal Investigation. Nine deputies sit below the Commissioners. There are also Senior Assistant Commissioners that are in charge of sections falling under the duties of both Commissioners and Deputy Commissioners. The Force is organized into branches and divided by the 28 regions of the country. Each region is divided into districts of whom an officer is in charge who is generally an Assistant Commissioner or Superintendent. However, the Commissioner can appoint any officer to this role. Police posts, the initial reporting and crime processing centers, sit below police stations and are staffed by officers under the command of an inspector or senior non-commissioned officer. Although each post operates under a main station, many are often inaccessible and supervision can be very mild. A ranked officer generally is employed under renewable three-year service contracts. Following twelve years of service, an officer is given the option to continue under contract or to become permanent and entitled to a pension. although, sometimes this choice is not left up to the officer and is in the hands of their supervisor who makes a decision based on individual circumstances.The regulations put into place by the Police Force and Auxillary Act of 2002 now govern appointment and termination, as well as payment, allowance and pensions within the force. These regulations also focused on discipline and include a code of conduct for all officers.[34]

Other Police Units[edit]

The high number of alternative groups who engage in policing activity is evidence that the Police Force is unable to operate effectively throughout the entire country. Although these groups aren't defined as police, they are subjected to the same controls, punishment, and measures of accountability associated with the national police force. These groups include Auxiliary Police, a group designed to assist the regular police in maintaining order and protect property is specifically designated areas, such as Dar es Salaam. Costing less to recruit and maintain than the Police Forces, while also having a much more extensive knowledge of the area they patrol, this additional policing group take pressure off the mainstream police. However, the disadvantage remains that they are not held accountable, and have standards of accountability below even that of the Tanzania Police Force.[35] A second group, private security agencies, are hired by individuals and companies to protect private life or property. There have also been incidents where members of communities engage in mob justice, acts of homicide that appear to be perceived by the police force as crime prevention, and there are no indications that the police treat such acts as crimes or that they are investigated or prosecuted. Between January and August of 2005, 206 mob justice cases had been reported. Most witnesses would refuse to testify and so none of the perpetrators were arrested or charged.[36]

Police Orientation Towards Law[edit]

The Consitution of Tanzania does not define the police nor does it include human rights ideals into police mandate. Although article 146 of the document requires a transfer of authority to regulate the enforcement of law and public safety of the people, but it does not requite the police to be responsive, representative or accountable under its law.Defense if often dealt with on the minimal level by local government in collaboration with police, leading to human rights violations as untrained officers are not being held accountable for their actions while on duty. Under Domestic law, The Police Force and Auxillary Act of 2002 established the police force as well as regulations defining teh police and their activity. because the focus ofthe act was to prevent and control crime, as opposed to responding to the community's needs, leading to a lck of support for human rights and freedom.[37]

Police Force & Government[edit]

Law Enforcement & The Military[edit]

The police and the army are separate bodies who have separate mandates, cultures and hierarchies. [38]

Corruption In Policing[edit]

In Tanzania, it is common that experience with policing involved a form of corruption through illegal arrest and detention, torture and use of excessive force, partiality, internal/external corruption, unnecessary judicial executions as well as abuse of the due process.[39][40] [41]

Public Opinion[edit]

Within the National Victimization Survey of 2007, 55% of respondents felt they were “very safe” or “fairly safe” walking in their neighborhood after dark. Over 66% also felt this way when asked about safety at their home after dark. Those living in the cities of Tanga and Moshi felt safer than most, especially residents of Mwanza and Mbeya who felt very unsafe walking outside after dark. In addition, when participants of this same survey were asked their opinion of appropriate punishment of a 21-year-old male stealing a television, two-thirds suggested he be imprisoned, 11% preferred he be fined, and an additional 10% chose community service. [42]

A victimization survey conducted in 2008 provides that 37% of Tanzanians live with at least occasional fear of crime. When this same survey asks what individuals thought to be the most important problems facing the country and should be the top level of priority to their government, 14% of respondents said access to water, followed by economic management with 10%, health, with 8% identifying infrastructure as the main problem. Only two out of every hundred Tanzanians ranked crime and criminal activity of high importance to their concerns. In addition, 62% hold the government primarily responsible for maintaining law and order throughout the country.[43]

Rights[edit]

Family Law[edit]

Marriage[edit]

The Marriage Act of 1971 provides that the minimum age to be married for males is 18 and for females is 15 years old. If specific circumstances provide evidence of a desirable marriage, the act permits underage marriage parties of at least 14 years of age. Penal Code permits girls as young as 12 years old to marriage between parties of African or Asiatic decent in respect of custom and religion as long as the marriage is not intended before she reaches 12 years of age. The Marriage Act of 1971 also provides that valid marriage must involve free consent of both parties, and guardian consent is only required for those who are under 18 years old. Marriage registration is obligatory and non- registration is punishable by a fine but will not be made void as there is provisions for licensing by religious functionaries.Polygamy is permitted with the consent of the first wife. When registering, parties are to declare whether their marriage is polygamous, potentially polygamous or monogamous. A marriage may be converted only with joint declaration[44].

Divorce[edit]

The Marriage Act of 1971 rules that under the exception of extreme circumstances, no petition of divorce is heard for a marriage of less than two years. Either spouse may apply for divorce, but no decree of divorce is granted without fuly convincing the court of a irrepairable breakdown. The party seeking a divorce first must apply to the Marriage Conciliatory Board who holds authority to certify that there is a failure to reoncile the marriage, which is necessary before divorce suit begins, but can be waived under certain circumstances. For court’s purposes, the breakdown of the marriage must indicate the following grouds: physical or mental cruelty, willful neglect, desertion, voluntary seperation, or change of religion dissolving marriage under religion law. Courts must consider several factors in dividing marital property including the customs of the parties’ community, contribution of each party towards property in money, property or labor, debts owed, and needs of infant children. Courts may also order maintenance for former wife for limited reasons.[45].

Inheritance- Law of Succession[edit]

Succession is governed by statutory, customary, Islamic and Hindu law in Tanzania. Under Non-Christian Asiatic Succession Ordinance, personal law applicable to religion of deceased will apply. In the case of conflict between Islamic and Customary laws that are applicable to succession, the Courts are directed to consider intention and mode of life of deceased in determining which regime should apply. Two tests are employes; the “mode of life” test, considering whether the deceased was a part of the community in which the customary law is accepted and appied, and the “intention of deceased” test, considering statements and deeds of the deceased which could have indicated a preference.[46]

Families and children[edit]

By law, bot mtehrs and fathers have equal rights regarding parental authority, but it is often that hose belonging to traditional practiced will discriminate again the woman. Child custody has the first consideration of the child’s welfare, and with this, is under the presumption that children should remain with their mother until the age of seven. Courts also consider customs of community, economic circumstances of both parents, housing and behavior of the mother.[47] The government of Tanzania is concerned with the welfare of children and makes efforts to preserve their welfare, including work done in collaboration with organizations that work to help neglected children, considering Tanzania has over 2.5 million orphans. Within both Mainland and Zanzibar, primary education in free and a universal obligation for children through the age of 15. Unfortunately, secondary schooling requires payment in fees and even with concern to primary education, there exists a significant lack of schools, teachers and books for all students to attend and be educated. Completion rates drop approximately 20% from primary to secondary completion status.

The state provides equal access medical care to all children ages five and under. Sexual abuse of children remains an issue in Tanzania, and most people convicted of such abuse receive the maximum sentence of imprisonment for thirty years.Although the law prohibits female genital mutilation, it continues to be practiced by certain ethnic groups and families. Statutory penalties for this kind of abuse on a young girl under the age of 18 can range from five to fifteen years of imprisonment to a fine. Sometimes both are required. The law also provides a payment of compensation by the person who committed the abuse to the victim yet those who actually conduct the illegal procedure hardly get prosecuted. Enforcement of this law is difficult as many officers and whole communities have not been aware the law exists, victims usually do not testify, as well as the presence of corruption within local communities, where villagers would convince officials to ignore the law. Both the nation's government, with its continuous action against female mutilation, along with programs of NGO'S raising awareness, community education may be the only solution to minimizing this extreme abuse of young females that some truly believe is a respectable element in their culture.[48]


Juveniles[edit]

The law of Tanzania limits the criminal liability of children and young adults who are still considered minors. A child under twelve years of age will not be criminally liabl for any offense unless it had been established that the child had known their actions were legally wrong. A child under the age of ten receives absolute protection from liability in the criminal court. A child under the age of twelve cannot be thought liable for any sexual offenses, as it is believed he or she is incapable of consummating at that age or younger.

Starting with the most common, the crimes committed by juveniles most often are in the form of stealing, assault, grievous harm, unnatural offenses, rape, possession of illegal drugs, or burglary. In regards to female juveniles, the most prevalent crime perpetrated is stealing as well. Many of the juvenile offenders of Tanzanian law are also child-laborers earning little pay. The Children and Young Persons Act governs how juvenile procedure is handled, requiring a significantly different and separate procedure for the juvenile justice system. However, the country has no court room(s) for the juvenile offender except Kisutu Juvenile Court in Dar es Salaam. All other regions must deal with juveniles in mainstream court, which is likely to put the juvenile at a disadvantage due to a lack of protection of dignity, privacy and other interests that should be respected when a juvenile is involved with judicial court proceedings.[49]

Social Inequality[edit]

Equality[edit]

Disability[edit]

Tanzania's Constitution may prohibit discrimination against all persons with disabilities, yet there is no law in place to prevent discrimination of this kind. Those with disabilities suffer from severe limitations in employment, education, healthcare and other services funded by the state/ The government also requires handicap accessibility for all public buildings and transportation but many had been constructed prior to this obligation and few have the funds available to renovate existing structures. The Ministries of Education, Justice and Labor are held responsible for enforcing the protection rights of disabled people and the Department of Social Welfare holds responsibility for coordinating disability issues.[50]

Religion & Belief[edit]

The government of Tanzania prohibits the discrimination of any individual based on their religious beliefs of practices. Still, there are some Muslim groups who claim that the government does discriminate against them in hiring, law enforcement and educational practices. On the contrary, there are also some Christian groups who in turn claim all sensitive government positions are held by Muslims, putting those who hold their religious beliefs at a disadvantage. Those not affiliated with either and are able to take a neutral stance do not recognize a bias towards or against either group. There have been reports of isolated incidents of religious discrimination happening once in a while, where a victim is targeted based on their traditional beliefs, but this is not often. Additionally, the minor Jewish population does not appear to be victimized by anti-Semitic words or actions, as no reports of discrimination against this population has been reported within recent years.[51]

Sexual Orientation[edit]

It is an offense that is punishable up to five years in prison to have homosexual relations. In Zanzibar, there is a penalty of up to 25 years in prison for engaging in homosexual behavior. For women on the island, the penalty can be up to seven years if in a lesbian relationship.Although few are punished under law, homosexuals are faced with severe societal discrimination. With over 1.4 million inhabitants infected with HIV/AIDS, the government along with NGO's are working to make the public aware of this discrimination, and to preserve patients' fundamental human rights. Many professionals continue to make efforts in dealing with the legal and ethical problems associated with AIDS, which includes the discrimination of homosexual persons.[52]

Refugees[edit]

The law of Tanzania provides a granting of refugee status or asylum with accordance to the 1951 UN Convention, as the government has established a system of providing protection for refugees. This includes protection from expulsion, or return of refugee(s) to the country of origin where life and freedom ad been threatened. The Tanzania government also actively works to investigate, prosecute and punish any lawbreakers within refugee camps. Although most cases where refugees have been involved in crime have occurred outside the camp and have been dealt with by local authorities.Those residing in refugee camps suffered from delays of, and limited access to the courts, a problem had by all citizens of the nation. Within camps, there have been reports of refugees taking part in defensive acts of intimidation, but this is rare and only occurred in previous years.[53]

Rights[edit]

Human Rights[edit]

Citizenship[edit]

All laws and regulations regarding citizenship are based upon the Tanzanian Citizenship Act of 1995. There are several ways to become a citizen of the country. A person born within the borders of Tanzania, either before or after independence, does not automatically confer citizenship. A foreign woman who marries a citizen of Tanzania is permitted to register for citizenship. In regards to decent, a person born before December 9, 1961 who is living in the country, and is either a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies (UKC) or a British Protected Person (BPP) with at least one of whose parents was born in Tanzania obtains citizenship. For those born after that date, who was born in Tanzania with at least one parent who is a citizen, along with a child born abroad whose father is a citizen of Tanzania is also a citizen. Tanzania citizenship can be acquired through naturalization if the person is 21 years old, has renounced former citizenship, and has resided in the country for at least five years. Dual citizenship is not recognized, but exceptions exist. Tanzanian children born abroad who obtained the citizenship of the country of birth is allowed to retain the dual citizenship until age 21. At that point, one citizenship must be chosen or Tanzanian citizenship will be revoked. Tanzanian who marries a foreign national and involuntarily acquires spouse's citizenship is allowed to retain Tanzanian citizenship. Law permits voluntary renunciation of Tanzanian citizenship. Voluntarily acquiring a foreign citizenship when 21 year or older is grounds for involuntary loss of Tanzanian citizenship.[54]

Rights of Women[edit]

Tailors in Tanzania


Even though Tanzania’s constitution prohibits any form of gender-based discrimination, legislation limits the legal protection of women due in part to judicial authority taking into account both customary and Islamic law. In such traditional views that dominate throughout the nation, the role of the women is in the home. However, it is often married women that deal with the greatest amount of discrimination. The physical integrity of women is poorly protected as well. With not laws to prohibit or punish acts of domestic violence, such behavior is accepted and widespread throughout the country. It is suggested that over half of all Tanzanian women are physically abused by their husbands. Additionally, an unidentified number of women lose their life due to domestic violence, including committing suicide and becoming the victim of murder at the hands of their husband. Many of these incidents remain unreported considering the police do not get involved with domestic disputes. [55]

The government of Tanzania has made efforts to increase the ownership rights of women despite traditional laws that are in opposition. The Land Law, put into place in 1999, gives women access to land to own and sell. Women have also received representation on land allocation committees and administration councils through this law. The country’s civil marriage law provides women with access to property, although customary and Islamic laws continue to negate this right. In 2004, more progress towards gender equality was made with an amendment to the Land Law providing women the right to bank loans, yet traditional law continues to restrict this access. It is also worth noting a women’s development fund was established in 1993 to broaden women’s access to commercial loans, encouraging female participation in the economy.[56]

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