University of Minnesota

Tanzania Human Rights Jurisprudence





Tanzania Legal System

Legal Structure


The Articles of Union

Tanzanian Constitutional Structure

Tanzanian Constitutional Principles

Sources of Law

Acts of Parliament
Customary laws
Received Law

Case laws- Jurisprudence

Legislature (The Parliament)

The Judiciary

The Commission for Human Rights and Good Governance

The Executive

     The President

     The Vice President

     The President of Zanzibar

     The Prime Minister

Government Agencies

Human Rights Non Governmental Organisations and Research Centres

National Human Rights Institution

Newspapers, Magazines, and Electronic Journals

International Inter-Governmental Organization Reports

International Non-Governmental Organization Reports

Ratification of International Human Rights Treaties




The United Republic of Tanzania is located in East Africa between longitude 290 which lies at Kigoma East of Greenwich and 410 which also lies at Mtwara 410 East of Greenwich.  The Country lies between latitude 10 in Bukoba South of the Equator and 120  at  Mtalika 120 South Equator. The Country borders the Indian Ocean in its whole of the eastern part and in the northern part Tanzania borders with the Republic of Kenya and Uganda. In the western part of the continent the country is bordering the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Republic of Rwanda and the Republic of Burundi. In the southwest Tanzania is bordered with the Republic of Zambia and the Republic of Malawi while in the south the country borders Mozambique.


Tanzania is the biggest country among the East African countries i.e. Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania covering an area of 945,000 km2, whereas the mainland alone has a total of 881,000km2 and a total of 2,000 kmfor the Island i.e. Zanzibar.  Within its land surface a total of 62,000 km2 is covered by water and 3.350 km2 is covered by forest and woodland.

Geographical features.

The main geographical features found in Tanzania include the spectacular Great Rift Valley that runs from north east of Africa through central Tanzania covering areas around Lake Nyasa to Mozambique. Another branch lies in the north western part of the country covering areas around Lake Tanganyika, Lakes Rukwa, Nyasa, Kitangiri, Eyasi and Manyara alongside Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania and western part of Uganda. Likewise, the main part of Lake Victoria (the world second largest fresh water lake) lies in the North Eastern part of Tanzania.


Other important features within Tanzania include the uplands. Most of the famous mountains such as the great mountain Kilimanjaro- snow-capped mountain, and Meru are found in the northern part of the country bordering the Republic of Kenya. Other mountains include the Usambara, Pare, Kipengere, Udzungwa, Matogoro, Livingstone, and the Fipa plateau forming the southern highlands. The most fascinating is the Ngorongoro Crater and the Oldonyo Lengai found in northern highlands.


National Parks and Game Reserves

As anyone can tell Tanzania is a home to the world famous National Parks and Game Reserves which include: the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Tarangire, Lake Manyara, Mikumi, Arusha, Ruaha, Saadani, and Udzungwa Mountains, National Parks. Others are Selous, Gombe Stream, and Mkomazi Game Reserve. Other Game Reserves include: Amani Nature Reserve, Kigosi, Lukwika-Lumesule, Maswa, Monduli Mountains, Msangesi and Ugala. This account makes a total of 12 National Parks, one Conservation Area, 13 Game reserves, 38 Game Controlled Areas and about 120 National Cultural Heritage Sites. As such, the Non-reserved forest-land covers an area of about 1,903.8 km2 whereas, forest/woodlands with national parks covers an area estimated at 200 km2 and Gazetted forest reserves covers a total of 1,251.7 km2.

Natural Resources:
Tanzania is among the endowed countries in terms of natural resources. As such, Tanzania has Minerals such as gold, diamonds, tanzanite and various other gemstones, natural gas, iron ore, coal, spring water, phosphates, soda ash and salt. There are large lakes which boost the fishing industry in the country. These lakes include: Victoria, Tanganyika and Nyasa. Apart from the lakes the whole of Tanzania in the eastern part is covered by the Indian Ocean. There are big fresh water rivers and wetlands such as the Ruvu, Pangani, Kilombero and Ruaha.  These rivers have a potential production of fish. Similarly, these rivers produce natural fresh waters where as the total estimate is 730,000 metric tons annually, though the present catch is 350,000 metric tons.

Tanzania is around the tropical areas a situation which makes it has a tropical type of climate. Thus, temperatures range between 100c and 200c during cold and hot seasons in the highlands respectively. However, the rest of the country has temperatures above 200c. November and February record the warmest and humid season (250c - 310c) while May and August record the coldest season (150c - 200c).

Tanzania agricultural economy depends of rainfall which falls within the October to May next year. These are recorded as two rainfall regimes (unimodal and bimodal) which exist between December – April and the other is the bimodal which exist between October –December. The unimodal is commonly referred to as Vuli
while the bimodal is referred to as Masika which do mostly happen in March - May. Masika is common in southern, south-west, central and western parts of the country, while vuli is common in the north and northern coast.

The capital city of Tanzania is Dodoma located some 306 km from Dar es Salaam. Dar es Salaam is the country’s commercial capital whose port (Other sea ports include Zanzibar, Tanga, and Mtwara) serves neighbouring land-locked countries of Malawi, Zambia, Burundi, Rwanda, and Uganda, as well as Eastern DRC. Other big urban centres next to Dar es Salaam include Mwanza situated in the lake Victoria zone, Arusha and Moshi along the Meru and Kilimanjaro mountain respectively. Others are Tanga in the north, Morogoro in the east; Mbeya and Iringa to the west. Tabora and Shinyanga are also important economic hubs in central Tanzania.

The country has 26 administrative regions which include 21 regions in Tanzania mainland and 5region in Zanzibar. There are a total of 130 administrative districts where as 120 districts are found in Tanzania mainland while 10 of then are found in Zanzibar.


Tanganyika, now Tanzania mainland, gained its independence on 9th December 1961 from the British. The British administration administered Tanganyika as a protectorate after the end of the World War II under the United Nations Trusteeship until her independence in 1961. One year later she became a Republic and Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere became her first President.


Zanzibar gained her independent on 12th December 1963 from the British which administered her under Arab Sultanate as a protectorate. In January 12th, 1964 the Arab Sultanate regime of Zanzibar was overthrown by what is commonly known as a revolution and the Revolution Government of Zanzibar was formed and Sheikh Abeid Aman Karume became the first President of Zanzibar.


The United Republic of Tanzania came into existence on 26th April 1964 the Republic of Tanganyika and the Peoples’ Republic of Zanzibar being independent states formed a union. The two countries entered into a union after the two heads of state i.e. President Julius Kambarage Nyerere-the first President of Tanganyika and Sheikh Abeid Amani Karume signed an agreement (from what is referred today as articles of union) to form the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar. Combining the first three letters from each country i.e. Tanganyika- Tan and Zanzibar-zan, a word Tanzania was formed and on 29th October 1967 the United Republic of Tanzania became the official name of the two States. Today, Zanzibar is made up of Unguja and Pemba Island. It is an autonomous state of the United Republic and maintains its original name while the name Tanganyika seems to have naturally died and replaced by Tanzania mainland.


Before and during independence time, the two countries were governed by the Tanganyika African National Union (TANU), and the Afro Shiraz Party (ASP) respectively.  In 1977 the ruling party in Tanganyika-TANU and that of Zanzibar-ASP merged to form one political party and renamed it as “Chama Cha Mapinduzi-CCM” literally translated as the Revolutionary Party. CCM took political control under the one party regime until 1992 when the United Republic of Tanzania decided to adopt a multi-party democracy via the Eighth Constitutional Amendment. As from 1995 when the first multi party democratic elections took place, the country has continued successfully hold multi-party election for a five years term.



Legal Structure


The Legal System of Tanzania
Tanzanian’s legal system is governed by the Common Law system since its introduction by the Tanganyika Order in Council of 1920. The system is however customized with some exceptions and modifications to suit the local circumstances. This system traces its historical background mostly from the British rule administration during colonial period. Being a British protectorate Tanzania’s law (by then Tanganyika) was imported into Tanganyika via India by the British administration, where it had been long established. As such, the basic structure of the present legal system is influenced by the English legal system structure and it is much the same from when it was first introduced into the territory in the early 1920’s. To date Tanzanian’s legal system remain fundamental an adversarial legal system.

The Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania 1977 provides in its preamble that Tanzania aims at ‘building a democratic society founded on the principles of freedom, justice, fraternity and concord’. This preamble requires the Executive to be accountable to the people. In the same way, the legislature is supposed to be accountable to the people since it represents them. To ensure equality before the law the Judiciary is independent to dispense justice without fear or favour to anybody. As such, Article 4 of the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania, 1977, provides for three organs of the Government i.e. Parliament, the Executive and the Judiciary.

Sources of Law


Acts of Parliament

Customary laws

Case laws

Law Reports (TLR, HCD, EALR, Commonwealth Reports)

      By-Laws/Subsidiary Legislation



Tanzania’s sources of law are based on three main sources. These are; Constitution, Acts of Parliament/Local Law, Customary law and/or Religious law, Received Law, International Treaties and Conventions, By laws and/or Subsidiary Legislation and Orders/Circulars.


Constitution The Swahili and English Version of the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania


     1. Constitution

This is the fundamental law of the land. There are basically two Constitutions in the United Republic of Tanzania. There is the Tanzania Mainland Constitution referred to as the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania, 1977 as amended severally, which includes issues of the union and the Constitution of Zanzibar which applies only to matters of Zanzibar issues. Before the present Constitution, Tanzania mainland had five constitutions while Zanzibar had three.

The 1st Tanzania Constitution was referred to as Independence Constitution of 1961 through the Tanganyika (Constitution) Order in Council, 1961. This constitution was promulgated in England by the United Kingdom Parliament and directly imposed to Tanzania. It was characterized by a Westminster model with a sovereign parliamentary, multiparty democracy, a prime minister (Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere being the first Prime Minister) and the Governor General being the head of state representing Her Majesty the Queen of England.


The 2nd Constitution was referred to as the Republican Constitution of 1962. It started as a Government White Paper entitled ‘Proposal of Tanganyika Government for a Republic’. This proposal was discussed by the National Assembly and then a Constitution was made by a National Assembly converting into Constituency Assembly through an Act of Parliament. The Republican Constitution created an Executive President as Head of state, government, commander in chief of the army and a part of the parliament though not a member of the National Assembly.


The 3rd Constitution is the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar of 1964. Acting under authority conferred to him by the Articles of Union and through Government Notice No. 246 of May 1st 1964 the President of Tanzania modified the Republican Constitution of 1962 by issuing a Decree entitled The Interim Constitution Decree, 1964 to give birth of the Interim Constitution of the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar. This Constitution produced two governments. i.e. Tanganyika and Zanzibar.


The Articles of Union

The Articles of Union provided the following matters;



The 4th Constitution was also an Interim Constitution of 1965 giving party supremacy. Through the report of a commission appointed by President Nyerere, the Union Parliament enacted an Act which declared an Interim Constitution of Tanzania and stipulated for a one political party in Tanzania and Zanzibar. As such, Tanganyika African National Union and Afro-Shirazi Party became the sole parties dominated the supremacy of the Interim Constitution of Tanzania for Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar respectively.


The 5th Constitution is the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania of 1977. This is the Union Constitution following a merger of two political parties ruled Tanzania and Zanzibar to unite and form one political party styled as Chama Cha Mapinduzi on February, 1977. Although the process involved in the formation of this Constitution has been criticized it is regarded as the permanent constitution of Tanzania to date. In short, on the 16th March, 1977 through a Government Notice No. 38 of 25/ 3/ 1977, the president appointed a Constitutional Commission of twenty people; i.e. ten people from Tanzania Mainland and ten from Zanzibar to prepare a Constitution proposal. At the same time, through Government Notice No. 39 of 25/3/1977 the president appointed representatives of the Constituency Assembly to discuss the proposal drafted by the Commission. On 25th April 1977 the Constituency Assembly discussed and passed the proposal to march the Union Constitution of 1977.


Since 1977 the Union Constitution has been amended thirteen times. Some of the Major Amendments include; the Fifth Amendment of 1984 where the Constitution was amended to incorporate the provisions of the Bill of Rights. In 1992 through the Eighth Amendment the Constitution was amended to pave way for Multi-party system in Tanzania, followed by another major Amendment in 1995. This was the Eleventh Amendment to the Constitution where by the election of a Vice-President was declared to be through a running mate and thus the President of Zanzibar be a member of the Union Cabinet. Four essential amendments took place in the thirteenth Amendment. These were, i) procedure on declaration of presidential election’s results to be determined by highest number of votes to replace the previous practice of majority votes. ii) Thirty percent of seats in the National Assembly to reserved for women. iii) Declaration of Independence and exclusive powers of the Judiciary into the Constitution. iv) Inclusion of the provisions establishing the Commission for Human Rights and Good Governance into the Constitution.   


The history of the Constitution of Zanzibar starts from Independence Constitution of 1963. This was the Constitution characterized by monarchy leadership with the Sultan being the head of state and few executive powers exercised on advice of the cabinet. However, this Constitution was overthrown by the Zanzibar Revolutionary of 1964 and replaced by a Constitutional Decree passed by the Revolutionary Council. That is to say, Zanzibar did not have a permanent Constitution from 1964 to 1979 when the Revolutionary Council passed the first democratic Constitution of 1979 under Aboud Jumbe, the then President of Zanzibar. The 1979 Constitution created a legislative body called the House of Representatives followed by first national election after Revolutionary.


In 1984 Zanzibar concluded a constitutional debate which started in 1983 and promulgated of a second/third Constitution of 1984.  This democratic Constitution made it mandatory for the House of Representatives to be directly elected from constituencies and included the provisions of the Bill of Rights into it. To date this constitution has undergone major eight Amendments. For example, major features of the Eighth Constitutional Amendment which took place in 2002 included provisions for the separation of powers, human rights formation of NGOs, Independence of the office of the Director of Prosecution and the right of any person to protect the constitution through court process.



Tanzanian Constitutional Structure


Bill of Rights

Provided under Chapter one, part three, Articles 12 to 32 of the Union Constitution


The Executive

Provided under Chapter two, parts one to three, Articles 33 to 61 of the Union Constitution for the Union Government and Chapter 4 part one Article 102 to 105 for the Zanzibar Government.


The Parliament

Provided under Chapter three, part one to three, Articles 62 to 101 of the Union Constitution for the National Assembly-Tanzania and Chapter 4 part one, Articles 106 to107 for the House of Representative in Zanzibar


The Judiciary

Provided under Chapter 5, parts one to three Articles 107A to 113A of the Union Constitution for the Tanzanian Judiciary and part four, Articles 114 and 115 for the Zanzibar Judiciary. Part 5 to 6, Articles 116 to 124 of the same Chapter provides for the Court of Appeal (Supreme Court) of Tanzania. Part 7, Articles 125 to 128 provides for a Special Constitutional Court. This is the special court to adjudicate issues involving any dispute of the constitution within the union of Tanganyika and Zanzibar.


The Commission for Human Rights and Good Governance

This is provided under Chapter 6 part one, Articles 129 to 131 of the Union Constitution. The Commission came into force via the 13th Amendment of the Union Constitution in 2000.



From Chapters 7 to 10 the Union constitution contains provision to regulate revenue issues, powers of the local governments, and the National Army.


Tanzanian Constitutional Principles


Sovereignty of the people

Sovereignty of Tanzania constitution is vested to the people; thus the state and its organs drive their power from the people. This power is provided under Article 8 sub article (1) paragraph (a) of the Union Constitution of 1977 as amended severally and Article 9 sub article (2) paragraph (a) of the Zanzibar Constitution, 1984. The Articles provides;


8 (i) The United Republic of Tanzania is a Country which follows the principle of democracy and social justice, therefore-

     (a) Sovereignty resides in the people and it is from the people that the Government through this Constitution shall derive all its power and authority…


       9(1) Zanzibar shall be a country of democracy and social justice.

         (2) Now therefore it is hereby solemnly declared:-

(a) The authority of running the affairs of the country belongs to the citizen     and the power and authority of the government is derived from the citizen themselves through this constitution.   Supremacy of the Constitution


Supremacy of the Constitution

The Union Constitution is the supreme law of the land in all union matters and the Zanzibar constitution is supreme to all Zanzibar affairs; thus all state organs and the laws enacted should be in accordance with the provisions of these constitutions since they are the basis of laws of the land. This power is provided for under Article 64 sub article 5 of the Union Constitution and Article 4 of the Zanzibar Constitution.


Separation of Powers

The doctrine of separation of powers is reflected under Article 4 of the Union Constitution. This article stipulates three organs of the state which are the Legislature, the Executive and the Judiciary. All legislative functions are performed by the Parliament and the adjudicative functions are performed by the judiciary while the Executive is left with the function of enforcement of the laws. As such, the Union government is in charge to enforce laws on the union and the Zanzibar government is responsible of Zanzibar affairs which are non-union matters. The Presidents of Tanzania and of Zanzibar are the heads of the Executive for Union Government and that of Zanzibar respectively.


Representative Parliament

Tanzania follows a multiparty democracy. Therefore those who vie to represent people in the parliament for the law making and unmaking process are elected by the people through their political parties. This is done through regular elections which take place within five years term. Those who come victorious represent the people in the legislature- the National Assembly for Tanzania and the House of Representative for Zanzibar. As such, Tanzania has in place members of parliament elected direct from constituencies, elected through affirmative actions, members elected from special groups, and those appointed by the president through the powers vested to him/her by the Union Constitution. This principle is reflected under Articles 76 through 83 of the Union Constitution and Article……of the Zanzibar Constitution.


Independency of the Judiciary

From Tanzanian constitutional history, the union Constitution provided for independency of the judiciary under preambles. As from the 13th Amendment of the Union Constitution the doctrine of Independency of the judiciary is reflected under Article 107A. The article provides clearly that …” The authority to dispense justice in the United Republic is vested in the judiciary and the Judiciary of Zanzibar, and therefore no other organ of the Government or Parliament or the House of Representatives of Zanzibar shall have the final say in the dispensing of justice”.  Article 107B provides further that…”In exercising its authority to dispense justice, all courts shall be independent and shall be bound only by the Constitution and the law of the land”. To ensure independence of the judiciary the judicial personnel are appointed by the Judicial Service Commission while judges and justice of appeal are appointed by the President after consultation from the Chief Justice. Their appointment, both judges and magistrates is protected by their security of tenure. Thus, they cannot be removed or shifted (without their consent) in office for making decision which do not please the appointing body. They-judges receive their remuneration from the Consolidated Fund budget allocation which is not subject to discussion in the Parliament.   


Rule of Law

Making a reflection to the Union Constitution it is quite obvious that the doctrine of the Rule of Law is reflected in this document. This is evident from the fact that the laws and rules are made by a representative body duly authorized from the people. These laws authorize the political and public power to exercise any function in the country. At the high level most of the laws and rules are just. The laws which appear to be unjust are identified through various means such as appointment of an ad hoc commission (Nyalali Commission is an example) or through the Law Reform Commission. After scrutiny consultation, the laws which appear to be unjust are repealed and replaced by new laws. As it stands the law treats all Tanzanian as equal before the law and the laws which appear to be violative and contrary to principles of human rights are declared unconstitutional through petition or repealed through a normal process in the parliament.


Respect for Human Rights

This is reflected under part three which appears from article 12 through 32 of the Union Constitution. This part is commonly referred to as the Bill of Rights provisions. It came visible into the constitution through a fifth amendment of the Union Constitution in 1984 and became effective in 1988. These articles provide for duties and right of Tanzanian citizen and thus when these rights are violated by an Act of Parliament any individual, group or organization can challenge the Act or provisions of an Act at the Human Rights Court. He/she can do so by following the procedures raid for under the Duties Enforcement Act, of 1994.

2. Domestic Legislation

Substantive legislation and Subsidiary Legislation


       i) Principle Legislations enacted by Parliament/ Ordinances

        ii) Delegated/Subsidiary Legislation (By law, Rules, Regulations), Orders and        Directives


(a) Acts of Parliament/Local Laws

These are sets of written law or statutory laws passed by the parliament of Tanzania since independence in 1961 and sets of laws passed by the colonial legislative council. All sets laws are subject to the basic law of the land which is the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania of 1977 as amended severally. Apart from ‘Acts’ there are other written laws passed through delegated powers and commonly referred to as subsidiary, subordinate or delegated legislation.


(i) Statutory Law

These are laws passed by local legislature and are called “Acts’ to refer to laws passed by the local legislature as from the period of independence in 1961 and those passed by colonial legislative council are called ‘Ordinances’. However, as of 2002, through an Act of Parliament, The Laws Revisions Act of 1994 Chapter Four of the laws of Tanzania [R.E. 2002,] all legislations previously known as Ordinances, (laws enacted before independence i.e. laws enacted by colonial administration-Orders in Council, commonly referred to as Ordinances) are now legally recognized as Acts. Presently, all Tanzanian laws, including Ordinances are referred to as ‘Acts’ and have been codified together in Chapters making it a common reference of ‘Chapters’ or abbreviated as ‘Cap’. The principal legislations and subsidiary legislations thereto, are published in the Government Gazette and printed by the Tanzania Government Printers. Therefore anyone can order for statutes through the Government Publication Agency.


At present, one can secure the Laws of Tanzania- Revised Edition of 2002 including sets of supplementary legislation, and subsidiary legislations from Law Africa Publishers at


(ii) Delegated/Subsidiary Legislation (By law, Rules, Regulations), Orders and        Directives


(3) Customary and/or Religious Laws

Customary and/or religious law is another of law that makes another authority to Tanzanian sources of law. Customary law and Islamic law is established under section 9 of the Judicature and Application of Laws Act, Chapter 358 of the Laws of Tanzania [R.E. 2002] (JALA).These are sets of rules developed through customs, practices and/or usages of Tanzanian ethnic tribes and they are accepted by Tanzanian as binding rules. The customs were accepted by the colonial regime thus accepted to be applicable in ‘native courts’ to native parties. At independence these rules continued to be binding and were made part of the laws of Tanzania in all courts having exclusive application at the primary courts. The application of customary laws is only limited to; i) civil cases particularly on issues of marriage, succession, inheritance, land and family relations. ii) Customary law applies only to members of the community concerned. iii) Customary law applies only when there is no written law, does not conflict with statutory law and as of today’s conception, to circumstances which are not repugnant to principles of human rights. To date customary laws include: codified customary laws, Islamic laws and other religious laws.


(i) Codified customary laws or Statutory Laws

These are sets of rules codified under the procedure set forth in the Judicature and Application of Laws Ordinance. They include a few of rules on the laws of person, rules of inheritance in some tribes, and rules on wills. They are commonly found in the Local Customary Law (Declaration) Order (Numbers one to eight), 1963.


(ii) Islamic Laws

These are few sets of law which apply to Moslems inhabiting in Tanzania but they are not applied in its whole fashion as it is in Islamic legal system countries.

It is application falls under the Judicature and Applications of Laws Act, Chapter 358 of the Laws of Tanzania [R.E. 2002] (JALA). As such, it empowers courts to apply Islamic law to matters of succession in communities and parties that generally follow Islamic law in matters of personal status and inheritance.


Driving their sources from the Qua’ran, the Sunna of the Prophet, Ijma (the consensus of the orthodox community) and the qiyas (the method of analogy), the decisions of courts impose lenience application as compared to strict Islamic rules. The local legislature and a mixture of customs have contributed to its modification and application. However, before independence a double tier system of courts allowed its application in Tanganyika where by the liwali courts applied Islamic law and secular courts applied other civil and customary laws. By 1963 one system was adopted to merge the two.  In Zanzibar however, a double tier system still exists where by Islamic courts known as Kadhi co-exists with secular courts. In Mainland Tanzania, the common issues decided under these laws are those under the Law of Marriage Act, Chapter 29 R.E. 2002; THE Administration (Small Estate) Ordinance, Chapter 30 R.L; the Restatement of Islamic Laws Acts, Act No. 57 of 1964; the Magistrates Courts’ Act, Chapter 11 R.E. 2002 and the Waqf Commission Ordinance, Chapter 326 R.L


(iii) Personal and Other Religious Laws

Much as the application of Islamic law is in place and enjoy application in Tanzania courts through Section 9(1) of the Judicature and Application of Law Ordinance of 1961. The courts, particularly the Primary courts and High Court of Tanzania have been liberal to apply other rules from personal and other religion in dispensing justice where written laws do not provide for solution.


(4) Received Law

Received law is applicable in Tanzania only when there is no local written law to address the matter at issue and when local circumstances permits. Received Law is established under Section 2.3 of The Judicature and Application Laws Act, Chapter 358 of the Laws of Tanzania [R.E. 2002] (JALA). Judges may make reference to received law with such necessary modifications to suit local circumstances. The sets of received law are common law, doctrine of equity and statutes of general application in force in England on 22nd July, 1920.


These are the body of law developed through judgments of the English courts which made reference to the customs and usage of the English people and then interpreted in courts. By preservation of courts, they remain applicable (when there is no local law or rule) and persuasive laws in Tanzania through the doctrine of precedents.


These are the body of law developed in England through decision of King’s Courts, common referred to as the Lord Chancellor Courts, which were developed by judges appointed by the King to sit in King’s court to make decisions on appeals by people aggrieved by decisions of England courts. Since the King was referred to as ‘the fountain of justice’ he was not bound by common law rules or decision. Thus, he dispensed justice according to conscience and fairness. Later, the King appointed judges who were referred to as Lord Chancellor to adjudicate on his behalf and hence developed what is called today, as ‘the doctrine of equity’. Just as the principle of common law, the doctrine of equity remain persuasive and precedents when local circumstances do not provide for an answer.


These are sets of legislation passed by the parliament of England to apply in England but were of general nature that they would apply in other territories. However, only part of the legislations which were in force in England on the 22nd July 1920 (commonly referred to as the reception date) was received to apply in Tanzania. 


(5) Case Law/Court Decisions

This is yet another important source of law in Tanzania. These are cases arising from the decision of the High Court and Court of Appeal. They are either reported cases or unreported. Therefore they form the basic precedents of Tanzanian laws and bind lower courts thereto. Reported cases in Tanzania can be found in a number of Law Reports.   Between 1957and 1977 cases reported from the High Court of Tanzania and the East African Court of Appeal appeared in East Africa Law Reports.


Law Africa, a law report private publishing company has updated the reports for cases from the three East African jurisdictions, of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania up to 2007.  Current editions of the law reports can be bought from Law Africa Publishers, email


Their corporate headquarters address is:

Law Africa Publishing (K) Ltd,

Coop Trust Plaza, 1st Floor, Lower Hill Road,

P.O. Box 4260-00100, GPO, Nairobi, Kenya


The Tanzania Law Reports between 1983 and 1997 can be bought online from


The main sources of Tanzanian court decisions are found in the following documents.


                  The digests are the collection of cases decision before…..;

 This is a collection of cases decided by the then East Africa Court    Appeal which was dissolved by the disintegration of the then East Africa Community. Since the East African Community has been revived, we expect to get other reports from this court.

       iv)       Others

The All England Reports, King Bench, Queens Bench,

 (6) International Law (Treaties and Conventions)

International Law is another source of law in Tanzania. This comprises of the Treaties and Conventions signed and then ratified by the Parliament. However, International Treaties and Convention are not self-executing. Once signed, they are subjected to ratification process which involves the National Assembly and the President. Once ratified, they become enforceable in the courts of laws. Thus, when ratified, they become part and parcel of the Act of Parliament and can apply the conventions and treaties to which Tanzania is a party in the Courts in Tanzania.


Legislature (The Parliament)


Parliament of Tanzania (Bunge)



According to the Requirement of the Union Constitution, the Legislature or the Parliament of the United Republic of Tanzania consists two parts, i.e. the President who is also the head of the Executive and the National Assembly which consist members of parliament elected from constituencies, special seats under the affirmative action approach, members appointed by the President and the Attorney General. 

The President does not sit in the National Assembly in the law making process but he/she exercises authority vested in him by the constitution to assent the law to complete the enactment process. 

Members of Parliament

The National Assembly consists of four categories of Members of Parliament, namely: 

women members whose number may increase from 20 per cent (the 2005 General Election recorded a 30 per cent of women members elected from this category) of members being not less than fifteen percent of the members of all other categories on the basis of proportional representation among those parties in the Parliament. Women’s representation is provided as a special category under the Constitution to increase women participation in national politics. With the approval of the President, the actual percentage of women members is declared by the National Electoral Commission which also supervises the National Election.


The National Assembly is administered under two types of leadership:- These are the Leaders from the Parliamentary Sessions and from 2 Camps of Members of Parliament. The Parliamentary Sessions are under the leadership of the Speaker of the National Assembly who is also the head of the Parliament. The Speaker is assisted by the Deputy Speaker, 2 Chairpersons and the Clerk to the National Assembly who is the head of the Secretariat of the National Assembly. To ensure better discharge of the legislative functions, the National Assembly has various Standing Committees which are classified according to priority and needy of the country.

The second Leadership is from the Camps of the Members of Parliament. These are:- The Leader of Government Business in the National Assembly who is normally the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister is assisted by the Chief Government Whip; and the second is Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly elected from an opposition party with majority representation in the National Assembly. He/she is assisted by the Chief Opposition Whip.


Function and Legislative Powers               

The main function of the National Assembly is to make and unmake laws. The National Assembly makes laws through a law proposal called a bill. A bill will become a law when it is assented by the president. Bill proposals can be proposed by either Member of Parliament (private bill) or by the Government (official bill). However, in Tanzania practice bills have been commonly prepared by Government. Once a bill is passed by the National Assembly it is sent to the Union President for his assent. When the president gives his assent to the bill it becomes a law and once it is published in the official Government Gazette it has a force of law.


When the President declines to give his assent to the bill he/she will give his/her reasons for refusal and the bill will be returned to the National Assembly. The National Assembly will re-discuss the bill and resent it to the President. However, the same bill cannot be resent to the President within six months of his refusal. If the same is resent to the President within six months it must be supported by two-thirds of the Member of Parliament. The President will either assent to the bill resent to him or dissolve the parliament and call for new general elections.


The National Assembly also discusses and ratifies International Conventions signed by the President before they become full and binding legislation because under the constitutional structure, international instruments are not self executing.

Accordingly, the National Assembly remains the principal organ of the United Republic of Tanzania in the law making process. As such, the organ exercises its authority for the people of Tanzania under the principle of representation. The Organ has all powers to oversee and advise the Government of the United Republic and all its organs in the discharge of their functions.

Limitations of Legislative Powers 

According to the Union Constitutional of 1977 the Parliament must follow the procedures stipulated by the Constitution and cannot make laws and apply it to Zanzibar if the law addresses issues which are not union matters. Likewise, when the Parliament enacts a law which is contrary to certain or whole provisions of the Constitution, that law will be subject to nullification by the courts when petitioned against.  Lastly, the Parliament can amend provisions of the Union Constitution but it cannot go to the extent of changing essential features and basic structure of the Constitution.

Life Span of Parliament

The Union Constitution provides for a five years life span of the Parliament and then calls for another General Elections. Immediately, within seven days after official declaration of the results of the General Election the President is supposed to call the first meeting of the National Assembly. This time will run for five years up to the period when the President will dissolve it and call for another General Elections.

Dissolution of Parliament

The Union President may dissolve the Parliament when;


Human Rights Legislations and Other Legal Sources

The Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania, 1977 as Amended Severally

The Commission for Human Rights and Good Governance Act, 2001

Basic Rights and Duties Enforcement Act, 1994 (Act No. 33 of 1994

Legal Aid (Criminal Proceeding) Act, 1969 (Act No. 21 of 1969)


Constitutional Legislation

Constitution of Tanganyika, 1961 (Chapter 8 of the Revised Laws of Tanzania Mainland)

Constitution of Tanganyika, 1962 (Act No. 1 of 1962; Chapter 499 of the Revised         Laws of Tanzania Mainland)

Union of Tanganyika and Zanzibar Act, 1964 (Act No.22 of 1964-Chapter 557 of the Revised Laws of Tanzania Mainland)

United Republic (Declaration of Name) Act, 1964 (Act no. 61 of 1964- Chapter 573 of the Revised Laws of Tanzania Mainland)

Constituent Assembly Act, 1965 (Act No. 49 of 1965

Interim Constitution of Tanzania, 1965 (Act No. 43 of 1965- Chapter 596 of the Revised laws of Tanzania Mainland)

Interim Constitution of Tanzania (Amendment) Act, 1975, Act No. 15 of 1975

Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania, 1977 as amended severally

Constitution (Consequential, Transitional and Temporary Provisions) Act, 1984 (Act No. 16 of 1984)

Constitution (Fifth Amendment) Act, 1984 (Act No.15 of 1984)

Constitution (Eighth Amendment) Act, 1992 (Act No. 4 of 1992)

Constitution (Ninth Amendment) Act, 1992 (Act No. 20 of 1992)

Constitution (Tenth Amendment) Act, 1993 (Act No. 7 of 1993)

Constitution (Eleventh Amendment) Act, 1994 (Act No. 34 of 1994)

Constitution (Twelfth Amendment) Act

Constitution (Thirteenth Amendment) Act, 2000 (Act No. 3 of 2000


            Constitutional Basic Rights Enforcement Law

Basic Rights and Duties Enforcement Act, 1994 (Act No. 33 of 1994)

The Civil Procedure Code, 1966 (Act No. 16 of 1989, Chapter….of the Revised Laws of Tanzania)


Civil Practice Law

The Civil Procedure Code, 1966 (Act No. 16 of 1989, Chapter….of the Revised Laws of Tanzania)

The Appellate Jurisdiction Act, 1979 (Act No. 15 of 1979)

The Magistrates’ Courts Act, 1984, (Act No 2 of 1984)

Government Proceedings Act, 1967 (Act No. 16 of 1967)

Government Proceedings (Amendment) Act, 1974 (Act No. 40 of 1974)

Government Proceedings (Amendment) Act, 1994 (Act No. 30 of 1994

Industrial Court Act, 1990 (Act No. 3 of 1990)

Industrial Court (Amendment) Act, 1992 (Act No. 2 of 1992)

Interpretation of General Clauses Act, 1972, (Act No. 30 of 1972)

Judicature and Application of Laws Ordinance, 1961 (Act No. 57 of 1961- Chapter 453 of the Revised Laws of Tanzania Mainland)

The Law of Limitation Act, 1971 (Act No. 10 of 1971)

The Court of Appeal Rules, 1979 (Government Notice No. 74 of 1979)


Criminal Practice Law

The Criminal Procedure Act, 1985 (Act No. 9 of 1985)

Evidence Act, 1967 (Act No. 1 of 1986)

Evidence (Amendment) Act, 1980 (Act No. 19 of 1980)

Extradition Act, 1965 (Act No. 6 of 1967)

The Magistrates Courts Act, 1984, (Act No 2 of 1984)

The Penal Code, 1945 (Chapter 16 of the Revised Laws of Tanzania Mainland)

The Law of Limitation Act, 1971 (Act No. 10 of 1971)

The Minimum Sentences Act, 1972 (Act No. 1 of 1972)

Resettlement of Offenders Act, 1969 (Act no. 8 of 1969)


Judicial Review Practice

The Civil Procedure Code, 1966 (Act No. 16 of 1989, Chapter….of the Revised Laws of Tanzania)

The Criminal Procedure Act, 1985 (Act No. 9 of 1985)

Law Reform (Fatal Accidents and Miscellaneous Provision) Ordinance, 1955 (Chapter 360 of the Revised Laws of Tanzania mainland)

Law Reform (Fatal Accidents and Miscellaneous Provision) Ordinance (Amendment) Act, 1968 (Act No. 55 of 1968)

Law Reform (Fatal Accidents and Miscellaneous Provision) Ordinance (Amendment) Act, 1991 (Act No. 27 of 1991)

The Law of Limitation Act, 1971 (Act No. 10 of 1971)



            Penal Law

Corporal Punishment Ordinance, 1930 (Chapter 17 of the Revised Laws of Tanzania Mainland)

Dangerous Drugs Ordinance, (Chapter 95 of the Revised Laws of Tanzania Mainland)

Economic and Organised Crime Control Act, 1984 (Act No. 13 of 1984)

Economic and Organised Crime Control (Amendment) Act, 1984 (Act No. 12 of 1987)

Economic Sabotage (Special Provision) Act, 1983 (Act No. 9 of 1983)

Emergency Powers Act, 1986 (Act No. 1 of 1986)

The Penal Code, 1945 (Chapter 16 of the Revised Laws of Tanzania Mainland)

The Parole Board Act, 1994 (Act No. 25 of 1994)

The Prevention of Corruption Act, 1971 (Act No. 16 of 1971)

Preventive Detention Act, 1962 (Chapter 490 of the Revised Laws of Tanzania Mainland)

Preventive Detention (Amendment) Act, 1985 (Act No. 2 of 1985)

The Prisons Act, 1967 (Act No. 34 of 1967)

The Proceeds of Crime Act, 1991 (Act No. 25 of 1991)

Stock Theft ordinance, 1960 (Chapter 344 of the Revised Laws of Tanzania Mainland)

Witchcraft Ordinance, 1928 (Chapter 18 of the Revised Laws of Tanzania Mainland)


            Private Practice Law

Advocates Ordinance, 1954 Chapter 341 of the Revised Laws of Tanzania Mainland)

Notaries Public and commissioners for Oath Act, 1964 (Chapter 12 of the Revised Laws Tanzania Mainland)

Tanganyika Law Society Ordinance, 19….


The Judiciary

The Judiciary of Tanzania is another arm of the state. It consist three major organs which are: the Court of Appeal of the United Republic of Tanzania. This is the supreme court of the land over the whole of the United Republic of Tanzania. The second is the High Courts for Mainland Tanzania with jurisdiction for the Tanzania mainland and The High Court for Tanzania Island with jurisdiction over Zanzibar.  The third organ is the Judicial Service Commission for Tanzania Mainland.  

The Judicial Service Commission for Tanzania Mainland consists of: the Chief Justice of the Court of Appeal of Tanzania (Chairman); the Justice of the Court of Appeal of Tanzania; the Principal Judge of the High Court; and two members appointed by the President. 

Judicial Administration and Court System of Tanzania

i) Judicial Administration Structure

The Judiciary in Tanzania is headed by the Chief Justice, with the Registrar of the Court of Appeal as the Chief Executive Officer. The Principal Judge (JK) assisted by the Registrar of the High Court, is in charge of the Administration of the High court and the Courts subordinate thereto.

The High Court has exclusive original jurisdiction for all matters in Tanzania Mainland and is divided into Zones, which are administered by Judges  in Charge with the assistance of District Registrars. At Regional and District levels, the administration is under Resident and District Magistrate  in  Charge. District Magistrates  in  Charge also do supervise Primary Courts in their respective districts.

The High Court of Zanzibar has exclusive original jurisdiction for all matters in Zanzibar. The Zanzibar court system is similar to the Tanzania mainland system, except that Zanzibar retains Islamic courts. Islamic courts in Zanzibar adjudicate Muslim family cases such as divorces, child custody and inheritance. All other appeals from the High Court of Zanzibar go to the Court of Appeal of Tanzania

Therefore, the Judiciary in Tanzania has four tiers which are; The Court of Appeal of the United Republic of Tanzania, the High Courts for Mainland Tanzania with its divisions and High Court in Tanzania Zanzibar, Magistrates Courts, which are divided into two levels according to the Magistrates Courts’ Act, 1984, i.e. the Resident Magistrate Courts and the District Court, both of which have concurrent jurisdiction. Primary Courts are the lowest in the Tanzania judicial hierarchy.

ii) The Legal System

a) The Legal System of Zanzibar

The Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania makes clear that the High Court and the Attorney General’s Chamber of Zanzibar are not the Union matter. The High Court of Zanzibar is established by Article 114 of the Constitution of Tanzania. Thus, the High Court of Zanzibar and the office of the Attorney General’s Chambers are the organs of the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar. The Attorney General’s Chambers are part of the portfolio of the Minister of State in the Chief Minister’s Office. 

The structure of the Zanzibar legal system is as follows;


Court of Appeal

High Court

Magistrate Court        ↔ Kadhi’s Appeal Courts

↑                                                          ↑

Primary Courts           Kadhi’s Court




The High Court of Zanzibar
This is the highest court as far as Zanzibar laws are concerned. The Court is established by Article 114 of Chapter 5, Part III of the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania. It enjoys its powers concurrently with the High Court of Tanzania Mainland provided the law enacted by the parliament is applicable to both Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar.



Magistrate’s Court

These Courts have jurisdiction to entertain cases of different nature i.e. civil and criminal cases except that, they have no jurisdiction over cases of Islamic law.


Kadhi’s Appeal Court

These are the appellate courts of Kadhi’s Courts. They hear and determine appeals, review or revision from Kadhi’s courts on Islamic law.


Kadhi’s Courts

These are the lowest courts in Zanzibar which adjudicates all Islamic family matters to Muslim families such as divorce, distribution of matrimonial assets, custody of children and inheritance.


Primary Courts

These are the lowest courts in Zanzibar judicial hierarchical and stand at the same rank with the Kadhi’s Courts and they have jurisdiction over criminal and civil cases of customary nature.



b) The Court System of Tanzania Mainland 



Court of Appeal


The Specialized Divisions - High Court of Tanzania -- The High Court of Zanzibar


Resident Magistrates Courts


District Courts


Primary Courts


Court of Appeal of Tanzania

The Court of Appeal Tanzania is the Supreme Court of the land and handles all matters from the High Court of Tanzania Mainland and Tanzania Zanzibar. It is a creature of the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania established under Article 117 of Chapter 5, Part IV of the Constitution. Therefore it is an Appellate, Review and Reversionary Court empowered to hear and determine every matter brought before it in either of the above ways arising from judgments or other decisions of the High Court or of Resident Magistrates with extended jurisdiction. In its power to review and revise the court can upheld decisions, dismiss, direct or order for a retrial. In doing, so the court can make reference to its earlier decisions as precedents. As such the Court can follow, distinguish, quash or amend some earlier decisions. It consists of the Chief Justice and other Justices of Appeal. It is not a court of first instance.


The High Courts of Tanzania Mainland

The High Court of Tanzania Mainland was established by the Judicature and Application of the Law Ordinance, No. 7 of 1920. It was then adopted by the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania, 1977 under Article 107 of Chapter 5, Part I of the Constitution and it has unlimited original jurisdiction to entertain all types of cases. It is the court of first instance in cases of murder, treason and armed robbery and an appellate court in all cases from Districts and Magistrates’ courts. The High Courts exercise original jurisdiction on matters of a constitutional nature and have powers to entertain election petitions. The High Court also has Admiralty jurisdiction, to make orders and to hear and determine claims, proceedings and other matters as conferred by the Merchant Shipping Act, No.43 of 1967. The High Court’s Main Registry, (which includes the sub-Registries) caters for all civil and criminal matters. The High Court (mainland Tanzania) has established 10 sub Registries in different zone of the country. It also has two specialized divisions, the Commercial Division and the Land Division. All appeals from subordinate courts go to the High Court of Tanzania.


High Court Divisions
a) Special Constitutional Court

This is a Special Constitutional Court dedicated for matters concerning the United Republic of Tanzania. It is established by Article 125 of Chapter 5 Part VI of the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania. As it stands, it is an ad hoc division of the High Court. Through its inception, this court has not convened to hear or determine in any capacity any constitutional matter concerning the union. The sole function of the Special Constitutional Court is to hear and provide conciliatory decision over a matter referred to it on the interpretation of the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania when such interpretation or its application is in dispute between the two Governments forming the United Republic of Tanzania. These are; the government of Tanzania mainland and the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar. These Court provides no right to appeal in case of dissatisfaction of ether party. Therefore, conciliatory decision(s) given by this court constitutes a final and conclusive decision. No right of appeal to any forum.

b) Constitutional Court

The Constitutional Court came via a fifth constitutional amendment in 1984 which incorporated the provisions of the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights came into force in 1988 and in implementation of the Bill of Rights provisions, the Constitutional Court came into force in 1994 through an enactment of the Basic Rights and Duties Enforcement Act, No.7 of 1994. This avenue allows any person who alleges contravention, of the basic rights provided under Article 12 through 29 of the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania to bring his or her complaint to apply to the Constitutional Court for redress. The Court is properly composed when it has a quorum of 3 Judges of the High Court. However, in applications to determine the merits of the case or applications for leave to file a complaint, this court is presided by a single Judge of the High Court.


c) High Court Land Division

Due to economic value of land to the citizen and other land users,   the High Court of Tanzania, Land Division was proclaimed by the Land Act, No.4 of 1999 to give fast and effective adjudication of land cases.  The High Court Land Division was established by The High Court Registries (Amendment) Rules under Government Notice Number 131 of 2002. The court has jurisdiction in all land matters for immovable properties whose value exceeds fifty million Tanzanian Shillings or where the subject matter is capable of being estimated at a money value exceeding forty million Tanzanian Shillings.


This is the court of first instance in land matters of the value above fifty million Tanzanian Shillings and it is an appellate court for matters originating from the District Land and Housing Tribunals. The court has power to conform, reverse, amend or vary in any manner, the decision or order appealed against. It is a court of records in land matters.

d) High Court Commercial Division

This court the court established to deal with all matters of commercial nature to expedite commercial transactions. It is established by Section 5A of the High Court Registries Rules, Government Notice. No 141 of 1999. It is an optional court for cases of commercial nature because the litigant is not bound to file the case under the ordinary High Court. As such, a litigant filing his/her commercial disputes expects to receive special and fast hearing process. The Commercial Court of the High Court can review or revise the decisions of other subordinate courts and may also review its own decisions.


Tribunals with the Status of the High Court

a) Industrial Court of Tanzania

This Court is established by Section 16 of the Industrial Court of Tanzania Act No. 41 of 1967 as amended severally. The court is empowered to hear and determine any trade disputes referred to it under the provisions of this Act and to report the same to the Minister. The court also adjudicates all disputes referred to it by the Labour Commissioner. The court specifically adjudicates labour disputes involving employees of the managerial level. The court also has jurisdiction to industrial trade disputes involving a large number of employees challenging their employers move to either summarily dismissal orders or termination of their employment through retrenchment or redundancy orders.

b) Tax Revenue Appeals Tribunal

The Tax Revenue Appeals Tribunal is established by Section 8 of The Tax Revenue Appeals, Act No. 15 of 2000. The Tribunal has an exclusive jurisdiction in all appeals arising from the decision of the Tax Revenue Appeal Board on disputes on which original jurisdiction is conferred on the Board, and may also revise any decision thereof.

c) Loan and Advances Realization Trust Tribunal - LART
This is a Tribunal which is established by section 4 of the Loans and Advances Realization Trust Act, No. 6 of 1991. The Tribunal has exclusive jurisdiction to hear and determine all matters arising relating to any public non-performing asset transferred to the Trust under this Act. The rules of procedure applicable to the High Court of Tanzania in relation to civil proceedings, apply with slight modifications to the Tribunal.


3. The Resident Magistrates’ Courts / Districts’ Courts
The Resident Magistrates’ Courts and the District Courts are established under Section 4 and 5 of the Magistrates’ Courts Act, No. 2 of 1984. They enjoy concurrent jurisdiction where as the Magistrate Courts are found at the Regional (province) level while the District Courts are found throughout the district of Tanzania. These Courts have original jurisdiction in matters which the Primary courts lack jurisdiction. They also have appellate, supervisory and revisional powers over decisions or proceedings of the Primary Courts.


Tribunals of District Court Status

a) Tax Revenue Appeal Board

The Tax Revenue Appeal Boards are established by Section 4 of the Tax Revenue Appeals Act, No 15 of 2000. The boards were established to expedite tax claims administered by the Tax Revenue Authority. Individual dissatisfied with the decision of tax administration officers may lodge their appeal to this board. They have an exclusive original jurisdiction in all proceedings of a civil nature in respect of disputes from revenue laws administered by the Tanzania Revenue Authority.


b) The District Land and Housing Tribunal

The District Land and Housing Tribunal is established under Section 22 of the Land Disputes Courts Act, No. 2 of 2002 in respect of section 167 of the Land Act, No.4 of 1999 which provides for the establishment of the tribunal. The Tribunal exercises original jurisdiction in all proceedings relating to land as conferred to it by the written laws provided the value of the property does not exceed 50 million Tanzanian Shillings or where the subject matter is capable of being estimated at a money value not to exceed 40 million Tanzanian Shillings. The Tribunal is empowered to execute its own orders and decrees. Structurally, the District Land and Housing Tribunals are supposed to be available throughout the Districts of Tanzania.

c) The Labour Conciliation Board

This is the board established under Section 11 of the Security of Employment Act, No.62 of 1964. The Minister of Labour is empowered by this Act to establish the board through an order published in the gazette. As such, the Minister may establish through out Tanzania such number of Conciliation Boards as he may consider necessary. Where a reference is made to this Board, the Board may decide whether the summary dismissal, proposed summary dismissal or deductions from wages having regard to the circumstances of the breach of the disciplinary code is justified, the Board is empowered to confirm or reverse the imposition of disciplinary penalties and may order the refund to the employee of any deduction or may authorize the imposition of lesser disciplinary penalty.


d) Primary Courts
The Primary Courts are established by Section 3 of the Magistrates’ Courts Act, No. 2 of 1984. They are the lowest courts in the hierarchy of the Tanzania court system and do exercise jurisdiction within their respective Districts where are established. The Primary Courts have original jurisdiction in all proceedings of a civil nature where the law applicable is customary law and Islamic law. They also have jurisdiction in matrimonial proceedings relating to civil and Christian marriages or any other proceedings in respect of which jurisdiction is conferred on a primary court by the Magistrates’ Court Act No.2 of 1984 or any other law. The Primary Court Magistrate sits with lay assessors (normally lay persons) to hear cases in minor civil and criminal offences.


Other Tribunals

a) Military Tribunals for the Armed forces

These are tribunals established under the Defence Forces Act. The Military Courts try cases to the member of the military forces only. A party to the military tribunal who feels dissatisfied with any decision of the Tribunals may refer the same to the High Court for judicial review


b) Ward Tribunal
The Ward Tribunals are established under Section 3 of the Ward Tribunals Act, No.7 of 1985. The ward tribunal are available throughout the ward of Tanzania, with the primary function of securing peace and harmony in the area for which it is established by mediating and endeavoring to obtain just and amicable settlement of disputes. The Tribunal has and exercises jurisdiction in relation to all matters and disputes arising under all laws and directives passed by the appropriate authority. The Tribunal also has jurisdiction to enquire into and determine disputes relating to the offences and civil dispute specified in the Act and may impose penalties to the extent specified therein. According to the Village Land Act, 1999 and the Land Act of 1999, the Ward Tribunal may exercise original and appellate jurisdiction on land disputes. They exercise an appellate jurisdiction on disputes referred to it from Village Land Council.

c) Marriage Conciliation Boards

Section 102 of the Law of Marriage Act, No. 5 of 1971, provides for the establishment of Marriage Conciliation Boards in every ward. This is an advisory and conciliation board to matrimonial disputes, the board serves as a pre-requisite condition before filing for a petition for a decree of separation or divorce.


                                Court judgments
See Law Reports of Tanzania


                          Human Rights Judgments

See some selected human rights judgments. Others may be accessed through the Law Reports of Tanzania


                     Constitutional Judgments

See some selected constitutional judgments. Others may be accessed through the Law Reports of Tanzania


Legal Education

The legal career may start by direct enrollment at Universities with law faculties. Students who complete their advanced secondary education successfully with good grades are eligible for a law degree enrollment. Degrees offered at the University are; a Degree in law (LL.B), Postgraduate Diploma in Law (PGDL), Masters of law (LL.M), Degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and Doctor of Laws (LL.D), which is the highest doctorate to be awarded. Persons discontinued with secondary education may start their legal career a Certificate in Law followed by a Diploma in Law before they join universities for their first degree.




Universities which offer Law Degree, Diploma and Certificate in Law

The following are Universities which offer courses in law;


Institutes which offer diploma in law are;


Certificate in Law courses are offered at institutions such as;


Enrollment for Practice as an Advocate 

Before applying for enrollment as an advocate a candidate must hold an LL.B is supposed to attend an internship for a period not less than six months and another six months of Pupilage at a recognized law firm or any other practicing legal entity. Application for enrollment is done through a petition to the Chief Justice and a successful applicant is supposed to sit for a Bar exam which is held three times a year.


The Bar exam is conducted through oral interview by a panel of the Council for Legal Education. The panel 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 from the University of Dar Es Salaam, and two other senior representatives from the Tangayika Law Society. A successful candidate is enrolled into the Rolls of Advocates as and can practice law as Advocate of the High Court of Tanzania and other sub-ordinate Courts save for Primary Courts. He or she is enrolled by the Chief Justice of the United Republic of Tanzania at an enrollment ceremony which takes place twice a year i.e. mid June and December.


An advocate enrolled under the Advocates Act, Chapter 341 of the Laws of Tanzania [R.E.2002] will be given a yearly renewable practicing certificate by the Chief Justice. He or she is subject to the disciplinary rules and etiquette prescribed under the Act and in any case of breach of the said rules, may face disciplinary measures under the Ethics Committee of the Law Society and the Advocates Disciplinary Committee established under the Advocates Act CAP 341. Upon enrollment he or she will be automatically listed as a member of the Tanganyika Law Society established by the Tanganyika Law Society Act, Chapter 307 of the Laws of Tanzania [R.E 2002]. He is also obliged to pay annual subscription fees of the society.


The Tanganyika Law Society is manned by the Chairman who is elected by Advocates’ Annual General Meeting held annually and is assisted by the Secretariat General. Any inquiries as to the practice of law in Tanzania may be addressed to the Executive Secretary, Tanganyika Law Society; email;



Tanzania Human Rights Institution

The Commission for Human Rights and Good Governance


The Commission for Human Rights and Good Governance (CHRAGG) is one of the Constitutional creatures serving as an independent government department; The Commission is a creature of the Constitution established under Article 129(1) of the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania of 1977 as amended by Act No. 3 of 2000 vide the 13th Constitutional Amendment to the 1977 Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania. CHRAGG came into force on the 1st July 2001 following the enactment and publication of the Commission the Human Rights and Good Governance Act No7 of 2001 as amended by Act No 16 of 2001 into Government Notice No. 311 of 8th June 2001. It was officially inaugurated in March 2002. The Commission’s primary responsibility is to promote and protect human rights and duties as well as good governance.

It is served by commissioner who are appointed by the President of the United Republic of Tanzania.


The functions of the CHRGG are stipulated in Article 130 (1) of the Union Constitution as well as in section 6(1) of its founding legislation. Accordingly, the ‘main core function of the Commission is to promote, protect and preserve human rights and duties of the citizens to the society. In other words, the Commission has four main functions, namely, the protective, promotive, advisory and mediatory/conciliatory functions.

All in all, of great significance to this regard is its mediation and conciliation mandate. According to section 28(4) of the founding legislation, the CHRGG can resolve any complaint or rectify an act or omission emanating from a violation of any fundamental right or acts of mal-administration by mediation, conciliation or negotiation. When the Commission is involved in mediation or conciliation it is acting in a quasi-judicial capacity. The quasi-adjudicatory function of the Commission is particularly in relation to carrying out public hearings or enquiries. Mediation is a means to an end. It seeks to reconcile people. That is why the Commission has a role to play in conflict resolution by way of mediation, conciliation and adjudication, apart from investigating complaints and conducting enquiries into violations of human rights and contravention of principles of good governance.


In discharging its quasi-adjudicatory function the CHRGG is governed by both rules of procedure, evidence and its own set of Regulations- The Commission for Human Rights and Good Governance (Complaints Procedures) Regulations, 2003 that have been made under the founding legislation, though, for the sake of fairness and flexibility, it is not bound by the former.


The Executive Branch



 for quick links  Advanced level exam results Census database  Population


The Executive    for Swahili and    government website –English.

The Executive of the United Republic comprises of the President, The Vice-President, President of Zanzibar, the Prime Minister and Cabinet Ministers.


The President of the United Republic is the Head of State, the Head of Government; and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.  

The Executive of the United Republic comprises the President, the Vice-President, President of Zanzibar, the Prime Minister and the Cabinet Ministers.  He is the Leader of the Executive of the United Republic of Tanzania. 

Visit also  for government press



President Jakaya M Kikwete became the current President of the United Republic on the 21st December of 2005 after a historic victory, winning 80.3% of the total votes.  Visit for Presidential library


Vice President

The Vice President is elected as a running mate to the President. He/she is the principal assistant to the President in respect of all matters in the United Republic generally and in particular is responsible for assisting the President in: 

  1. making a follow-up on the day-to day implementation of Union Matters; 
  2. performing all duties assigned to him by the President; and 
  3. performing all duties and functions of the office of the President when the President is out of office or out of the country. 

Dr. Omar Ali Juma became the first Vice president under multi-party system who was preceded by Dr. Ali Mohammed Shein after the demise of the latter in July 2005. Dr Shein served as Vice-President since 5th July 2001 under Mkapa regime prior to the 2005 General Elections.

The Prime Minister

The Prime Minister of the United Republic is the Leader of Government Business in the National Assembly and has authority over the control, supervision and execution of the day-to-day functions and affairs of the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania. This power is conferred for under Article 52 of the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania of 1977. The article also confers power to the premier to control activities of sectroral Ministries. He/she also performs any matter or matters that the President directs to be done. 

With assignment of the Ministerial responsibilities through Government Notice No.1 of January 2006, the Prime Minister is also responsible for the following sectors and sub-sectors:

The President of Zanzibar

The President of Zanzibar is a Head of the Executive for Zanzibar; Head of the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar and the Chairman of the Zanzibar Revolutionary Council.


The Cabinet

The Cabinet



President and Commander -in- Chief of the Armed Forces of the United Republic of Tanzania

H.E Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete

Vice - President

H.E Dr. Ali Mohamed Shein 

President of Zanzibar

H.E Amani Abeid Amani Karume  

Prime Minister of the United Republic of Tanzania

Rt.Hon. Edward Ngoyai Lowassa  

Ministers of State in the President's Office  

     Public Service Management

Hon. Hawa Abdulrahman Ghasia

     Good Governance

Hon. Philip Sang’ka Marmo

     Political Affairs and Civil Societies Relations

Hon. Kingunge Ngombale Mwiru

Ministers of State in the Vice President's Office

     Union Affairs

Hon. Dr. Hussein Ali Mwinyi


Hon. Prof. Mark James Mwandosya

Ministers of State in the Prime Minister's Office  

     Regional Administration and Local Government

Hon. Mizengo Kayanza Peter Pinda

     Parliamentary Affairs

Hon. Dr. Batilda Salha Burian

Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation

Hon. Bernard Kamillius Membe

Minister for East African Co-operation

Hon. Dr. Ibrahim Said Msabaha

Minister for Finance 

Hon. Zakia Hamdani Meghji  

Minister for Planning, Economy and Empowerment

Hon. Dr. Juma Alifa Ngasongwa

Minister for Industry, Trade and Marketing

Hon. Basil Pesambili Mramba

Minister for Agriculture, Food Security and Co-operatives

Hon. Stephen Masatu Wassira

Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism

Hon. Prof. Jumanne Abdallah Maghembe

Minister for Water

Hon. Dr. Shukuru Jumanne Kawambwa

Minister for Energy and Minerals

Hon. Nazir Mustafa Karamagi

Minister for Infrastructure Development

Hon. Andrew John Chenge

Minister for Health and Social Welfare

Hon. Prof. David Homeli Mwakyusa

Minister for Education and Vocational Training

Hon. Margareth Simwanza Sitta

Minister for Higher Education, Science and Technology

Hon. Prof. Peter Mahmoud Msolla

Minister for Labour, Employment and Youth Development

Hon. Capt. John Zefania Chiligati

Minister for Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development

Ho. John Pombe Joseph Magufuli

Minister for Information, Culture, and Sports

Hon. Muhammed Seif Khatib

Minister for Defence and National Service

Hon. Prof. Juma Athumani Kapuya

Minister for Public Safety and Security

Hon. Harith Bakari Mwapachu .  

Minister for Home Affairs

Hon. Joseph James Mungai

Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs

Hon. Dr. Mary Michael Nagu

Minister for Community Development, Gender and Children

Hon. Sofia Mnyambi Simba

Minister for Livestock Development  

Hon. Anthony Mwandu Diallo

Deputy Ministers and Their Respective Ministries

Prime Minister’s Office


    Disaster and HIV/AIDS

Hon. Dr. Luka Jelas Siyame

    Regional Administration and Local Government

Hon. Celina Ompeshi Kombani

Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation

  • Hon. Seif Ali Iddi
  • Hon . Dr. Cyril August Chami

East African Co-operation

Hon. Dr. Diodorus Buberwa Kamala


  • Hon. Abdisalaam Issa Khatib


  • Hon. Mustafa Haidi Mkulo

Planning, Economy and Empowerment

Hon. Gaudence Kayombo

Industry, Trade and Marketing

Hon. Hezekiah Ndahani Chibulunje

Agriculture, Food Security and Co-operatives

  • Hon. Christopher Kajoro Chizza
    Dr. David Mathayo David

Energy and Minerals

Hon. William Ngeleje

Infrastructure Development

  • Hon. Dr. Maua Abeid Daftari
  • Hon. Dr. Milton Makongoro Mahanga

Health and Social Welfare

Hon. Dr. Aisha Omar Kigoda

Education and Vocational Training

  • Hon. Mwantumu Bakari Mahiza
  • Hon. Ludovick John Mwananzila

Higher Education, Science and Technology

Hon. Gaudensia Mugosi Kabaka

Labour, Employment, and Youth Development

  • Hon . Jeremia Solomon Sumari
  • Hon. Dr. Emmanuel John Nchimbi

Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development

Hon.Rita Louise Mlaki

Community Development, Gender and Children

Hon. Salome Joseph Mbatia

Public Safety and Security

Hon. Mohamed Aboud

Home Affairs

Hon. Lawrence Kego Masha

Livestock Development

Hon. Dr. Charles Ogessa Mlingwa

Natural Resources and Tourism

Hon. Zabein Muhaji Mhita

Information, Culture and Sports

  • Hon. Daniel Nicodem Nsanzungwako
  • Hon. Joel Nkaya Bendera

Justice and Constitutional Affairs

Hon. Mathias Meinrad Chikawe

Defence and National Service

Hon. Omar Yussuf Mzee or

The Cabinet of the United Republic comprises the Executive, Prime Minister, Union Ministers appointed from amongst members of the National Assembly and Attorney General. It is the principal organ for advising the President regarding all matters concerning the exercise of his powers and assists and advises the Presidents over any matters, which is submitted to the Cabinet pursuant to specific or general directions issued by the President. The President presides over the Cabinet meetings and in the event the President is absent, the Vice-President presides over; and if both the President and the Vice-President are absent, the Prime Minister presides over the meetings. The Government executes its functions through Ministries led by Cabinet Ministers. Each Ministry has a sector portfolio through Presidential Instruments


The Current Ministries



Government Structure 

All matters of state in the United Republic are exercised and controlled by the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania and the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar. The Government of The United Republic of Tanzania has authority over all Union matters in the United Republic, as stipulated under the Constitution, and it also runs all non union matters on Mainland Tanzania, i.e. the territory formerly known as Tanganyika. Non-union matters are all those which do not appear in the Schedule to the Constitution which stipulates the list of Union matters. Visit; for Government Plans



The Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar, similarly, has authority on Tanzania Zanzibar, i.e. the territory composed of the islands of Unguja and Pemba, over all matters, which are not Union Matters. In this respect the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar has a separate Executive, legislature, known as the House of Representatives.





Public Administration


Apart from state organs controlled by the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania and the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar there are Local Government Authorities which assist the central government. 

Local Government Authorities exist for the purpose of consolidating and giving more power to the people to competently participate in the planning and implementing developmental programmes within their respective areas.  They are classified into two categories. These are; Urban authorities which are responsible for the administration and development of urban areas. Urban areas include townships, municipalities and Cities of Dar es Salaam, Mwanza and Arusha.  The second category is the Rural Authorities referred to as the District Councils. Local Government Authorities discharge administrative functions of law, order, economy and developmental planning in their respective areas. Local Government Authority is exercised through Regional and District Commissioners


Government Agencies


The Electoral Commission

The National Electoral Commission (NEC) is an independent and autonomous government institution. The Commission discharges its functions in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution. It is not be obliged to comply with orders or directions of any person or any Government department or the views of any political party. As such, no courts of law have power to inquire into anything done by this Commission in the discharge of its functions.

It was established in 1993 under Article 74(1) of the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania, 1977. The Commission was established to supervise, co-ordinate and put in place appropriate procedures for the conduct of elections under multi-party system. It is responsible for public elections at the Presidential, Parliamentary and councilor level. This followed an enactment of the Political Parties Act, (No. 5 of 1992) and amendment of existed legislations such as the Elections Act, (No.1 of 1985), the Local Authorities (Elections) Act, (No. 4 of 1979) and related legislations to get rid of the one – party system.

The Electoral Commission is responsible for the following roles;

(a) to supervise and co-ordinate the registration of voters in Presidential and Parliamentary elections in the United Republic of Tanzania;

(b) to supervise and co-ordinate the conduct of the Presidential and Parliamentary elections in the United Republic of Tanzania;

(c) to review the boundaries and demarcate the United Republic into various constituencies for the purposes of Parliamentary elections;

(d) to supervise and co-ordinate the registration of voters and the conduct of the Elections of Councilors;

(e) to declare elected special seats for women members of Parliament and Councilors; enacted by Parliament.

(f) to provide voter education in Tanzania and co-ordinate and supervise persons who conduct such education.

(g) to perform any other functions in accordance with a law enacted by Parliament.

In collaboration with the Political Parties, the Commission is also responsible for preparation of an Election Code of Conduct. The Code outlines the dos and don’ts in the campaign process by the Government, Political Parties and the Commission.

The National Electoral Commission consists of:- A Chairman whose qualification is equal to a Judge of the High Court or the Court of Appeal of Tanzania or a lawyer who qualifies to be an advocate and he/she has been with such qualifications for not less than 15 years. The Chairman is assisted by a Vice Chairman who has similar qualifications. Other members include a member appointed from amongst the members of the Tanganyika Law Society; Four other members who are persons possessing either adequate experience in the conduct or supervision of Parliamentary elections or such other qualifications as the President of the United Republic of Tanzania considers necessary for or pre-requisite to, the effective discharge of the functions of the Commission. Lastly, there is a Director of Elections who is appointed by the President of the United Republic of Zanzibar according to Article 74(7) of the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania and Section 4(4) of the Elections Act, (No. 1 of 1985). He or she is the Secretary to the Commission and Chief Executive.

Electoral system

The Tanzania electoral system follows the ex-British colonies system which is “First Past the Post”. Under this system the country is divided and demarcated into constituencies and wards. Each constituency and ward in Tanzania mainland is eligible to elects one representative to the Parliament and council respectively. Due to a multi-party system adopted in the country every contested seat may have contestant from each of the registered political parties. The political parties are responsible for sponsoring their candidates and therefore a candidate who wins majority votes is declared elected.

At the Presidential level, a Presidential Candidate from one part of the union is required to have running mate who hails from another part of the United Republic of Tanzania.  The running mate contests for a Vice-Presidential post and will be at the same time with the President. As such, the Presidential Candidate who wins the majority of votes is declared President of the United Republic together with his running mate as Vice President.

Apart from candidates in the above category, Tanzania has a system of proportional representation which is taken according to votes of the elections of Members of the Parliament for Women Special Seats. These are special seats for women and constitute thirty percent of the total number of elected constituency members, plus five members elected by the Zanzibar House of Representative. The Attorney General who is appointed by the President of the United Public of Tanzania qualifies as an ex-officio Member of the Parliament. There are other ten members appointed by the President of the United Republic of Tanzania from his constitutional powers.

Special seats for councilors’ election on proportional representation for women is not less than one third of the all elected Councilors and Members of Parliament in each Council. They are apportioned according to seats won by each political party in the council.


The formation and organization of political parties are regulated under the Political Parties Act 1992. Currently, there about 18 political parties with full registration for political parties; visit

Tanzania has so far conducted multiparty general elections in three phases in 1995, 2000, and 2005.


The Tanzania Law Reform Commission

The Law Reform Commission of Tanzania was established by an Act of Parliament in 1980. This is the Law Reform Act, No. 11 of 1980. The Commission was the result of a Judicial Review Commission formed in 1974 to conduct a wide-ranging review of the legal system and to recommend changes for improvement in the administration of justice. The Commission was chaired by Mr. Pius Msekwa and it 1977 reported to the Government and recommended various changes in the judicial system administration. The Msekwa Commission recommended for, among others things, to establish an independent body-the Permanent Law Reform Commission which will maintain a constant monitor over the administration and operation of the law.

The Commission was formed in 1981 and on 21st October 1983 it started to function officially. The Commission started its operation in 1983 under the late Justice Yona Mwakasendo. From then three justices have led it. The Commission’s main function is to conduct research throughout the country and recommend to the government for the law reforms which will respond to the changing conditions in the economic, cultural, educational and political fields.

The Commission has conducted various researches countrywide to reflect the social-economic changes and released reports. Some of research report release include; The Law of Marriage; The Problem of Congestion in Prison; The Law Relating to Children in Tanzania; the Impact of Criminal Justice in Combating Theft/Embezzlement in Government Institution and Public Corporation; The Law of Succession/Inheritance; Exchange Control; Statutory System of Compensation to Victim of Crime and Private Legal Practice. Other include; Delays in the Disposal of Civil Suits; Labour Laws; Criminal Law as a Vehicle for Protection of Rights of Women and Nyalali Final Report.


Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority (TCRA)

The Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA), established by the TCRA Act no. 12 of 2003 is an independent Authority for the Postal, Broadcasting and Electronic communications industries in the United Republic of Tanzania. Its role include licensing and regulating the Postal services, Broadcasting services and Electronic Communications sectors in the United Republic of Tanzania.

The Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority  (TCRA) is Tanzania’s communications and broadcasting regulator.  It was established under the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority Act No.12 of 2003  which merged the Tanzania Communications  Commission and the Tanzania Broadcasting Commission.

TCRA became operational on 1st November, 2003 and has effectively taken over the functions of the two defunct commissions.  Specifically the Authority is responsible for enhancing the welfare of Tanzanians through:

Since the introduction of the Converged Licensing Framework (CLF) in 2005,  the Authority has issued various licenses to Companies in the categories of Network facilities, Network services and Applications services.  Click here for details of the licensed companies as of 1st November,2006.

TCRA has received application from the Tanzania Postal Corporation (TPC) requesting for approval to review tariffs for the regulated postal services and products. The Authority hereby invites all stakeholders in the communications sector to give their written comments to assist the Authority in considering the tariff review. For more details click here


The convergence of info-communication technologies has necessitated a change in the licensing framework The Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority has developed a new licensing framework to accommodate technological market and regulatory trend referred to as convergence.

The Authority has been seeking comments from stakeholders since January, 2005 on the implementation of the New Licensing Framework through Workshop, meetings and Authority's website. In response and taking into accounts comments received, the Authority have finalised the  Regulations, Licenses and applicable fees under the Converged Licensing Framework.  For more details on the New Licensing Framework,  Click here








Tanzania Communications Commission (TCC):

TCC was established under the Tanzania Communication Act No. 18 of 1993 and became operational in 1994.  The Commission was formed following the dissolution of the Tanzania Post and Telecommunications Corporation as part of the government’s initiative to restructure the communications sector.  The commission is charged with the responsibility of regulating the activities of the service providers in the postal and telecommunications sub-sectors.  Other responsibilities of the Commission include defining interconnection and tariff policies; allocation and monitoring of radio frequencies; and preparation of numbering plans, revenue sharing arrangements and monitoring compliance with standards.



Tanzania Revenue Authority  

The Tanzania Revenue Authority Act No. 11 of 1995 established TRA.  The Authority is a semi-autonomous agency of the Government, responsible for the administration of the Central Government taxes as well as several non-tax revenues.  The Authority, which administers a number of taxes, is under the general supervision of Board of Directors. The list of tax laws administered by TRA is shown in Tax Laws administered by TRA.        

Functions of TRA

The major functions of the Authority are to: Assess, collect and account for all Central Government Revenue; Administer efficiently and effectively all the revenue laws of the Central Government; Advise the Government on all matters relating to fiscal policy; Promote voluntary tax compliance; Improve the quality of services provided to taxpayers;            Counteract fraud and other forms of tax and fiscal evasion and Produce trade statistics and publications.

Tanzania Transport Regulatory Authority (TTRA)

The Government of the United Republic of Tanzania is underway to establish a Transport Regulatory Authority.  TTRA will derive its powers from the Transport Regulatory Act and will be charged with the responsibility of overseeing the smooth operations of the roads and roads transport, railways, ports, maritime transportation, airports and air transportation.


Central Transport Licensing Authority (CTLA)

CTLA is a regulatory authority.  The main task of CTLA is to issue road transport licenses. Regional Transport Licensing Authorities (RTLA) are authorized to issue licenses to regional transport operators. 


Tanzania Central Freight Bureau (TCFB)  

The Act of 1982 Tanzania Central Freight Bureau was amended in 2000 to respond to changes in the market environment.  The mission of TCFB is to foster economy in the water transportation sub-sector through competition and fair trade practices with the view to promoting its growth and ensuring availability of maritime transport information.


Tanzania Meteorological Agency


Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA)

The Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA) is a body Corporate, was established by the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority Act (Act No.10 of 2003) (Government Notice No. 10 of 2003) as an independent regulator and provider of air navigation services.

As an independent regulator the Authority is responsible for all civil aviation regulatory activities including safety regulation, economic regulation and consumer protection.

The establishment act mandate the Authority to regulate the activities of persons and institutions carrying on air transport services (carriage of passengers and cargo, both domestic and international), aeronautical airport services (airport operators, ground handlers, cargo operators, hanger facilities, airport security, in-flight caterers and aircraft fuelling services), air navigation services (includes air traffic services and associated infrastructure, and aeronautical meteorological services) as well as continue with the provision of air navigation services.



Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA) was established on 1st November 2003 as a Corporate Body under the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority Act No. of 2003. Prior to that it was an Executive Government Agency known as Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority, which was established in 1999.

Functions of the former Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority along with the staff were transferred to TCAA.

Why Establish the TCAA
To perform regulatory functions in relation to air transport, aeronautical airport services and air navigation services.

Specifically, the functions of TCAA are:
To perform the following-

to issue, renew, vary and cancel air service licenses.

to establish standards for regulated goods and regulated services.

to establish standards for the terms and conditions of supply of the regulated goods and services.

to regulate rates and charges

to make rules for carrying out the purposes and provisions of this Act

To monitor the performance of the regulated suppliers including in relation to-

levels of investment; availability, quality and standards of services.

the cost of services .

the efficiency of production and distribution of services, and other matters relevant to the Authority.

to facilitate the resolution of complaints and disputes.

to take over and continue carrying out the functions formerly of the former Authority.

to disseminate information about matters relevant to the functions of the Authority.

to consult with other regulatory authorities or bodies or institutions discharging functions similar to those of the Authority in United Republic of Tanzania and elsewhere to administer the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority Act, 2003.

to perform such other functions as may be conferred on the Authority by the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority Act, 2003 or any other law.


Public Service Commission




Government Institutions



Banks  The Bank of Tanzania Postal Bank,2493,10217293_10217476_0,00.html Stanbic Bank

Stanbic Bank is part of one of Africa's leading banking and financial services groups, Standard Bank Group Limited, which is based in South Africa and listed on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange.

Rooted in Africa and with representation in strategic sub-Saharan markets, Standard Bank is a regional banking force with a global sweep. With total assets of about US$81bn and employing about 35 000 people worldwide, Standard Bank has the largest presence in Africa of any South African or African bank.

Our network spans 17 African countries and extends to 21 countries on other continents, including the key financial centres of Europe, the United States and Asia. In addition to banking, Standard Bank has a strategic interest in the insurance industry through its control of the Liberty Group, one of Africa's leading life offices and financial services groups.

The group has one of the biggest single networks of banking services in Africa. Through this network we offer a wide range of banking products and services which are delivered through more than 1 000 points of representation in 17 African countries. We are active in international and cross-border transactions and in those areas liaise closely with Standard Bank Corporate and Investment Banking and Standard Bank London Standard Chartered

Standard Chartered PLC is listed on both the London Stock Exchange and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and is consistently ranked in the top 25 among FTSE-100 companies by market capitalisation.

Standard Chartered has a history of over 150 years in banking and operates in many of the world's fastest-growing markets with an extensive global network of over 1,400 branches (including subsidiaries, associates and joint ventures) in over 50 countries in the Asia Pacific Region, South Asia, the Middle East, Africa, the United Kingdom and the Americas.

As one of the world's most international banks, Standard Chartered employs almost 55,000 people, representing over 90 nationalities, worldwide. This diversity lies at the heart of the Bank's values and supports the Bank's growth as the world increasingly becomes one market.

With strong organic growth supported by strategic alliances and acquisitions and driven by its strengths in the balance and diversity of its business, products, geography and people, Standard Chartered is well positioned in the emerging trade corridors of Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

Standard Chartered derives over 90 per cent of profits from Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Serving both Consumer and Wholesale Banking customers worldwide, the Bank combines deep local knowledge with global capability to offer a wide range of innovative products and services as well as award-winning solutions.

Trusted across its network for its standard of governance and corporate responsibility, Standard Chartered takes a long term view of the consequences of its actions to ensure that the Bank builds a sustainable business through social inclusion, environmental protection and good governance.

Standard Chartered is also committed to all its stakeholders by living its values in its approach towards managing its people, exceeding expectations of its customers, making a difference in communities and working with regulators.  CRDB



CRDB BANK LIMITED is a private commercial bank. The Bank was established on July 1st 1996 to succeed the former Cooperative and Rural Development Bank (CRDB), which was a public institution with majority of shares held by the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania. The succession was a result of the liberalization of the banking industry in Tanzania.

The liberalization which followed the enactment of the Banking and Financial Institutions act (BFIA) of 1991 and Government’s policy to divest its interest in the sector, prompted a recapitalisation of the Bank to levels stipulated by the BFIA (1991).


CRDB has been blessed with an invaluable partnership from the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA). DANIDA’s commitment and support in technical, managerial and financial areas of the Bank's operations has been instrumental for the success of CRDB BANK LIMITED.

DANIDA therefore was fundamentally involved in CRDB’s restructuring as demanded by the BFIA (1991). The restructuring, which started in 1992, aimed at a more efficient organizational system, better returns to shareholders and overall improvement in the financial performance of the Bank. The exercise involved:

CRDB BANK LIMITED is owned by over 11,000 shareholders under the following major groups (by value of shares): Private individuals 37.0; Co operative 14.0; Companies 10.2; DANIDA investment fund 30.0; and Parastatals (NIC &PPF 8.8; NBC

This is one of the largest commercial banks in Tanzania with braches through out the regional (province) headquarters. Having joined forces with Africa's largest banking group, South African based Absa Group Ltd; NBC Ltd. has given its clients access to a global banking environment.  Barclays Bank
 Business Agencies  Prevention of Corruption Bureau





Courts and Tribunals Tanzania Revenue Authorities public service reform commission Medium Term Plan and Budget Framework national strategy for growth and poverty reduction



TANZANIA Policies Population Policy Microeconomic policy NGOs Policies  Tanzania Policies





Other Human Rights Materials



                                    Funding Agencies


National Human Rights Institutions


Links to International Human Rights Courts

Tanzania recognizes decision passed by international court and my form part of persuasive precedents in Tanzanian’s courts and tribunals when local circumstances do not provide for answers. The following are part of the courts recognized by Tanzania adjudication system.





Tanzania Government Reports poverty and human development report population index reports


Tanzania NGO Reports


International NGO Reports national human rights NGOs


Foreign Governmental Reports

United Nations Reports and Decisions

NGOs and Research Centers



Reports of the Law Reform Commission of Tanzania

The Law of Succession/inheritance

The Law of Marriage

The Problem of Congestion in Prison

The Law Relating to Children in Tanzania

He Impact of Criminal Justice in Combating Theft/Embezzlement in Government Institution and Public Corporation

Exchange Control

Statutory System of Compensation to Victim of Crime

Private Legal Practice

Delays in the Disposal of Civil Suits

Labour Laws

Criminal Law as a Vehicle for Protection of Rights of Women

Nyalali Final Report


Media Reports

Local newspapers
IPP Media
A media house with diverse media outlets ranging from print to electronic.
Business Times Limited
An independent media house in Tanzania that runs newspapers and a community radio.
Tanzania Standard Newspapers TSN
A Government-owned media house which is the publisher is the oldest English daily. HabariLeo
Free Media Limited
Publishers of an independent daily Tanzania Daima
Regalia Media Limited
A public relations firm that deals with advertising, advertorials, media campaigns and promotional publications.






1. Tanzania School of Journalism Box 4067 Dar es Salaam Tanzania 

2. Tumaini University Box 200 Iringa Tanzania 

3. Dar es Salaam School of Journalism Box 25444 Dar es Salaam Tanzania 

4. Chuo cha Uandishi Televisheni Box 314 Zanzibar Tanzania 

5. St.Augustine University Box 307 Mwanza Tanzania 

6. Tanzania Institute of Media Education Box 33346 Dar es Salaam



Promoting specialization and professionalization in the media


















Other CIS Human Rights Materials

Mushiiii-Tangos; Rehema SAHRiNGON


Tanzania Major Human Rights NGOs

See TANGO members


Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC)

The Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC) is registered in Tanzania as a private, non-governmental, non-partisan and non-profit making organisation.  It has been an autonomous and independent entity since its registration in September 1995. The Legal and Human Rights Centre was established from the realisation of the extent to which the majority of the people were unaware of their rights and for the indigent who had no means to pursue their rights in court for want of legal representation.

The Legal and Human Rights Centre is both a legal and a human rights organisation.  The Centre was created so as to contribute to the process of democratisation in Tanzania and strives to promote, reinforce and safeguard human rights.

LHRC works to promote respect and observance of human rights and democracy; promote respect  and observance of rule of law and due process; promote consumer protection; create networks with public interest and human rights organisation, non governmental organisations, universities, relevant research institutions, religious association and legal association societies; promote public awareness in the field of environmental protection; provide – on request – consultancy services to Government and Non-Governmental Organisations, provided it is within the spirit of the objectives of LHRC; to organise and sponsor conferences, seminars, workshops, meetings and such undertakings with a view of promoting the social and educational objectives of LHRC; to raise funds for the purposes of the LHRC on such terms as are compatible with the autonomy of the LHRC and within the spirit of its social and educational objectives; to publish articles and various publications on legal education, society and human rights.

How We Do It

In order to realise its objectives, LHRC engages in the following:

Our Vision

Legal and Human Rights Centre envisages a just and equitable society

Our Mission

The Legal and Human Rights Centre is both a legal and a human rights organisation.  The Centre was created so as to contribute to the process of democratisation in Tanzania and strives to promote, reinforce and safeguard human rights.

The primary task of the Legal and Human Rights Centre is to create legal and human rights empowerment amongst the socially, economically, culturally and spiritually disadvantaged and marginalized groups  within the Tanzania society through legal and human rights training, provision of legal aid, information generation and dissemination through publications and radio programmes, research on legal and human rights issues and networking and alliance building with other institutions which share this mission.  The above can be achieved by:

Dissemination of legal and human rights knowledge to various groups in the society through training, publications and radio programmes.

Provision of legal aid to indigent people or those whose cases have special public interest or cases, which can advance law reform.

Promotion of public awareness in the field of environmental protection and;

Conducting research on legal and human rights issues with the aim of using the findings as a basis for lobbying and advocacy for changes.

About LHRC

The Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC) is a non-profit making, non-partisan, non-governmental organization striving to empower the public as well as promote, reinforce and safeguard human rights and good governance in Tanzania.

The objective of LHRC is to create legal and human rights awareness and empowerment among the general public, the authorities and, in particular, the underprivileged sections of the society. The target groups of LHRC include: the general public, the indigent, community leaders, influential people, politicians, policy makers, legislators, law enforcers, community based organizations, NGO’s and various international organizations.

The headquarter of Legal and Human Rights Centre is situated in Dar es Salaam, but the Centre also runs three legal aid clinics; two in Dar es Salaam (Magomeni and Buguruni) and one in Arusha.
Activities of LHRC

LHRC provides legal aid and legal and civic education. We execute training programmes of civil society, local government leaders and officers in the law enforcement machineries, as we also train grass root trainers to pass on their knowledge to others.

As part of its sensitisation programme the Centre runs a weekly radio programme on Radio Tanzania Dar es Salaam, which enjoys a countrywide coverage as well as a weekly television programme broadcasted on Channel 10. Both programs focus on practical legal and human rights issues touching the day to day lives of people in Tanzania and the general governance of the country.

LHRC publishes manuals, booklets, leaflets and posters on legal and human rights principles. The Centre carries out research in a number of legal and human rights areas in addition to making follow up on monitoring of human rights violations.

Brief history of LHRC

The Legal and Human Rights Centre was registered in September 1995. Before LHRC was registered as an independent entity the Centre existed as a human rights project at the University of Dar es Salaam by the name of Tanzania Legal Education Trust (TANLET). TANLET emerged as an initiative of the Legal Aid Committee of the University of Dar es Salaam to provide an independent avenue for members of society to exercise their freedom of opinion with regard to their civil rights.

Legal and Human Rights Centre is registered as a company limited by guarantees under the company’s ordinance cap 212 of the laws of Tanzania. The Centre was established with a prime view to disseminate knowledge on legal and human rights issues to the general public out of the realisation that the majority of Tanzanians are not aware of their rights nor of the means to pursue justice in court.

Our Organisation Structure

Annual General Meeting (AGM)

The General Assembly is the highest organ of the LHRC. It decides on general lines of policy and all other including the power to amend the memorandum and articles of association, and appoint the Board of Directors.

Board of Directors

This board is responsible to the General Assembly. It is the decision maker in relation to policies and projects of the LHRC and supervises the implementation. It employs Executive Director and confirms the members of staff of the LHRC employed by the Executive Director

Board of Directors makes regulations for the proper management of the personnel, facilities and finances of the LHRC. It approves annual plans and budgets, ensures provision of facilities necessary for the running of the organisation and carries out other activities that tare necessary for the proper governance and direction of the LHRC.



National Organisation for Legal Assistance (nola)

Msaada wa Sheria





The national organization for legal assistance, nola, is a non-governmental, autonomous and voluntary organization that was initially formed in 2002 by dedicated practicing lawyers so as to use the law to further the cause of legal and social justice as well as human rights in the country. It was registered as an NGO under the Companies Ordinance, Cap. 212 of the Revised Laws of Tanganyika, on 31st January 2003.Currently nola has eight Legal Assistance Centers in Mbeya, Iringa, Songea (Ruvuma), Mtwara, Dodoma, Kigoma, Tabora and Mwanza. Through this Programme, nola undertakes: effective court representation, strategic litigation, public-interest litigation, research, advocacy, consultancy and legal assistance to vulnerable groups, particularly in rural areas, including: juvenile delinquents, underprivileged women, HIV/AIDS victims, and indigent people.
nola's vision
The vision of nola
is to enhance the right to access to justice for all in rural areas of Tanzania.
nola's Mission statement;
It is nola
’s mission to facilitate an evolution of a society in Tanzania that is free from crimes and human abuses; and that respects human/legal rights, democracy as well as good governance. This mission is achievable through:

Through Lobbying and Advocating for reform in:

nola’s Main Objective
To create an environment in which national laws, practices and policies are molded on the spirit and purposes of international human rights standards that enhance equal and equitable realization of human rights, particularly amongst the underprivileged members of our society through:

nola’s Specific Objectives;

nola’s Concerns are:


nola’s mission statement
It is nola
’s mission to facilitate an evolution of a society in Tanzania that is free from crimes and human abuses; and that respects human/legal rights, democracy as well as good governance. This mission is achievable through:

Nola’s Programmes and Activities;
I. Access to Justice Programme


II. Research, Lobby and Advocacy (for Reform of Policies, Laws and Practices) Programme
This programme is cardinal to nola’s other programmes for it helps guiding programme formulation within nola as well as it provides the real situation on the ground needing further intervention.

III. Finance and Administration Programme
This is a fundamental program at the organization since it is directly responsible with the control and accountability of the organization funds according to the projects, consultancy and Articles and Memorandum of association of the company. It is further responsible for organization’s sustainability in terms of financial resources and human resources. That is to say the programme is involved with the following components <

IV. Human Resource Development
This programme is also very important as far as nola is concerned because it deals with developing and sustaining human resource and capacity building mechanism. Through this mechanism the program will engage the law enforcement agencies in training on legal and human rights protection. The same program will capacity-built members of its staffs, implementing partners as well as beneficiaries on a short and long term training. This program will involve;


Women’s Legal Aid Centre (WLAC)




The Women’s Legal Aid Center was registered in 1994.  The WLAC is both legal and community-based organization.  The WLAC  is an outcome of the famous  SUWATA Legal Aid Scheme for Women.  The The first Coordinator of the Scheme was Nakazaeli Lukio Tenga (1989-1993).

The decision to formulate the said Scheme in 1989 was reached after it was realized that there was a larger number of women within the country who face legal problems without the requisite resources for legal aid services.  In 1989, the Scheme was the first Legal Aid for women to be established in Tanzania. The WLAC is opened to all women irrespective of their religious, race, colour, political or ethnic affiliation. WLAC has expanded and now is promoting and protecting women and children’s rights.

The website launched in September 2002 provides information about our programs and links to our paralegal upcountry and our partners worldwide.  The site will also highlight WLAC programs, so that you can get a glimpse of how WLAC promotes and protects women and children rights.

The Women’s Legal Aid Centre (WLAC) is a voluntary, private, Non-Governmental Non-Partisan and Non-Profit making Organization, registered in 1994 as a Company Limited by guarantee without shareholders under the Companies Ordinance, Cap.212 of Tanzania.

WLAC ‘s Secretariat has 17 full-time staff working in four inter-connected departments.  The Executive Director is responsible for the overall programme implementation, supervision and reports to the Board of Directors.

To contribute in having a just and equitable society that observes and respects Women and Children’s rights.

The WLAC is a human rights organization, striving to promote and protect women and children’s rights by helping to bring about gender equality in Tanzania through legal aid, legal research, networking, publications and outreach programmes.           

Legal Aid Services

Many of the population cannot afford legal services, and women are particularly disadvantaged by their higher rates of poverty than men.  In response to this situation, the Center’s volunteers offer free legal advice, counselling, reconciliation, legal drafting and court representation to women and children in need.

The WLAC’S head office is in Dar es Salaam, but its outreach caters for women from both urban  and rural areas. The Centre has established sixteen (16) Paralegal Units for grassroots awareness creation. Paralegal members provide advice to needy women and children .  They also escort them to court for moral support.  Other matters are resolved out of court through reconciliation sessions.

The Women’s Legal Aid Centre has been attending hundreds of clients with legal problems and
human rights violations.  For instance in 1998  attended 3412 clients. In 2000 attended 3266 clients.  In 2001 attended 4180 clients. Problems mostly received range from matrimonial, violence, child custody and maintenance, probate and inheritance matters, civil cases, land problems and labour issues.

 The Centre conducts a legal aid clinic to women and children every Thursday from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.  Additionally, there are two full-time legal officers who attend to non-clinic days clients. The Centre offers reconciliation services on Wednesdays from 3:00 p.m.

Tuesday from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. consultative meetings with volunteers are held.

Legal Aid is offered to poor women and children free of charge. It is done through:

Court representation;
Legal advice and drafting of legal documents;
Reconcilliation or mediation
Further, every Thursday volunteers facilitate Legal Education to clients.

Outreach Programme

WLAC aims at raising legal and human rights awareness among the public and in particular women and children through legal literacy and human right education.  Outreach activities include a Radio Programme, legal and human rights education programme and Paralegal Units.

Legal Education

The Centre has been organizing legal education workshops, particularly those based on women and children’s rights. 

This education campaign covered various groups of people such as people with disabilities, youth, widows and religious institutions.  The Centre has facilitated an establishment of  Tanzania Widows Association (UWAJATA).

Paralegal Units

The WLAC’s outreach caters for women from both urban and rural areas. . The Centre has established sixteen (16) Paralegal Units for grassroots awareness creation in the following areas:

Tanga, Morogoro, Kilimanjaro, Arusha, Katesh, Kigoma, Mbeya, Mwanza, Shinyanga, Dodoma, Mtwara, Iringa, Lindi, Coast,  Ruvuma and Kiteto – Arusha.

Paralegal Units in Morogoro, Mwanza, Mbeya, Katesh , Shinyanga  and Ruvuma  have conducted outreach programmes and opened branches at village level in their respective areas. 

Mwangaza Radio Programme

The half-an hour radio programme “Mwangaza” is aired through Radio Tanzania Dar es Salaam (RTD), the radio station that covers almost all parts of the country. It is aired every Snday from 1:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Themes and production of the programmes cover issues relating to cases, which the WLAC receives at its legal aid clinic, public interest, social development and burning nationwide issues.

Advocacy & International Monitoring

Networking and Advocacy

The WLAC places high emphasis on the value of networking because networking keeps both the organization and staff informed on new developments in the field of Legal, Human Rights and Social Development. Through networking the WLAC is able to share skills, information and competencies with other organizations in a multi-disciplinary environment. Through networking and coalition building, WLAC members participates actively in the local, national and international activities i.e., workshops and conferences.

Some of WLAC networks include Empowering Widows in Development (EWD) based  in London.  Monica Mhoja the Executive Director is the E. Africa coordinator; Women in Law and Development in Africa (WiLDAF) Tanzania Chapter . (WLAC is preparing a draft bill on inheritance “NGO Perspective” on behalf of WiLDAF.

International Monitoring

The Centre facilitated an establishment of the TASK FORCE on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).  The Centre is hosting the Task Force, which prepared the “NGO Shadow Report on CEDAW” and submitted to the UN Committee in June 1998 and other stakeholders in Tanzania.  The Centre has also prepared a Training Manual on CEDAW.

In 1998, WLAC was appointed to coordinate and monitor the implementation of and the Copenhagen Declaration of 1995 – under Social Watch Program on behalf of Southern African Human Rights Non-Government Organizations Network ( SAHRINGON) Tanzania Chapter.  The WLAC has carried out various activities, including fact-finding research intended to analyse and give background information on social development in Tanzania.  Also the Centre in cooperation with some SAHRINGON (T) members produced a Shadow Report.  Both documents were presented in Geneva at Copenhagen +5 in June 2000 and to other stakeholders in Tanzania.

Main Objectives of the Social Watch program and CEDAW

To monitor and evaluate the government’s fulfillment of the Copenhagen Declaration.
To monitor and evaluate government’s fulfillment of the CEDAW.
To raise awareness and sensitization on Government responsibilities on CEDAW & Copenhagen Declaration.


Since 1998 the Centre is collaborating with the Centre for Reproductive Law and Policy  (CRLP) based in New York in issues of reproductive rights. WLAC in collaboration with CRLP prepared a Shadow Report on reproductive rights and submitted it to the Human Rights Committee in July 1998.

CRLP in collaboration with partners in Anglophone Africa, WLAC as a partner in Tanzania produces a book titled “Women of World: Laws and Policies Affecting Their Reproductive Lives Anglophone Africa.” WLAC contributed on the chapter dealing with Tanzania.  The progress Report 2001 was launched in Ghana June 2002.

Since November 2001 WLAC is collaborating with the Georgetown's Law Centre International Women's Human Rights Clinic on the project namely “ Advancing Women's Rights Globally. "The project goal is to improve the human rights of women in Tanzania.  WLAC is researching on inheritance and violence against women issues as well as advocating for law reform & strategic litigation on the same issues.

Since January 2001 WLAC is also collaborating  with Empowering Widows in Development [EWD] based in London in issues of widows rights.  The Executive Director attended the First International Conference on Widows Rights and agreed to be the EWD coordinator in East Africa.  WLAC promotes widows rights and facilitated an establishment of Widows Association in Tanzania [UWAJATA].


WLAC Supporters

  1. The Royal Norwegian Embassy through the NORAD: supports the Legal Aid Clinic  and some outreach programmes
  2. Netherlands Organization for International Development Cooperation (NOVIB): supports the Social Watch programme.
  3. The Ford Foundation: Supports the Mwangaza Radio Programme.
  4. Friedrick Erbert Stiftung (FES): Supports some Paralegal Units; some WLAC publication & outreach programmes.
  5. German Development Services (GDS): Supports some Paralegal Units.
  6. Women African Development Fund of Ghana: Supports some Paralegal Units.
  7. WLAC Members: Supports the Legal Aid Clinic as part time volunteers.
  8. Embassy of Finland: Supports some Paralegal Units on Training of Trainers and publication of WLAC documents.

Women’s Legal Aid Centre,  SUWATA Building, Kariakoo, Lindi Street,
Adjacent/ Near Uhuru Girls’ Primary School,
P. O. Box 79212, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Tel: 255-22-2183769


Tanganyika Law Society (TLS)



University of Dar es Salaam Legal Aid Center (LAC)


Legal Aid Committee (University of Dar es Salaam)


The Legal Aid Committee is a Committee of the Faculty of Law of the University of Dar es Salaam. Originally established in 1967, it was inactive for some time before being revived in 1978.


The Committee is run by a Chairman and a committee of seven, all staff of the Faculty of Law. The Committee has no independent office or staff. Members of the committee are elected annually from the Law Faculty academic staff.


In recent times, the Committee has again been inactive. In its active days the Committee focused on legal counseling, legal literacy and litigation. It sponsored weekly clinics, staffed by two members of the Committee, to provide legal advice to poor clients. These clinics functioned in two centres--Magomeni and Temeke.

The legal literacy method involved publication of enlightenment booklets and the organization of seminars in villages and legal aid camps. Education of the people on issues relating to human rights and land rights, inheritance, and so on, was provided. The Committee undertook litigation on such matters as land rights, labour, landlord and tenant, and matrimonial causes (focusing on conciliation).

Zanzibar Legal Services Centre



The Zanzibar Legal Services Centre was established in Zanzibar in February 1992 as a non-governmental organisation whose aim is to provide legal services to the poor, women, children, the disabled and other disadvantaged sections of the society. The Centre also seeks to provide education and consciousness raising on peoples' basic rights and responsibilities.


The Centre is located in Zanzibar, Tanzania. Its structure consists of a three-member Board of Trustees, chaired by Haroub Othman, lawyer and founder of the Centre. The Centre's Secretariat is run by a staff headed by the Director, Hassan Mze, a lawyer who works on a part-time basis. The Centre also has associate members who cooperate with the Centre in its activities.


In mid-December, the Centre organised a paralegal training programme in Zanzibar, its very first activity. Future activities planned by the Centre include legal literacy campaigns, legal aid, paralegal training, a newsletter, conferences, workshops and seminars.



Southern Human Rights Non Governmental Organisation (SAHRiNGON)

A brief introduction to SAHRINGON. The Southern Africa Human Rights NGOs Network (SAHRINGON) was established in February 1997 at the Regional Human Rights ...








HakiElimu’s vision is that every child in Tanzania is able to enjoy her or his right to basic education in schools that respect dignity, foster creativity and critical learning, and advance human rights and democracy. HakiElimu seeks to achieve this vision by facilitating meaningful public participation in education governance.

HakiElimu is a non-profit making organization limited by guarantee and not having a share capital registered under the Companies Ordinance (Chapter 212 of the Laws of Tanzania).


HakiElimu was established in early 2001 by a group of 13 Tanzanian founder members. The group consists of some of the leading members of the civil society, academic, research, media, human rights and critical gender community in Tanzania. Collectively, the group represents over 200 years of experience in analysis, program development, activism and management, including specialization in education. Six of the thirteen members are women


Governance and Management Structure

The HakiElimu members are the ultimate 'legal owners' of the organization and are responsible for providing overall leadership and oversight, including through the election of the Board of Directors and appointment of independent auditors. The Board of Directors is presently constituted of five persons, including the executive director who serves in an ex-officio capacity. The Board is responsible for the governance of HakiElimu, including setting overall policies and financial/operational guidelines, supervision of program implementation, and appointment of the senior management team. Board directors normally serve for a renewable term of two years. Currently three of the five board members, including the Chairperson, are women.

All staff are based in Dar es Salaam, except the community facilitators who are based in the Community Governance program districts.


The HakiElimu mission affirms the values of democratic governance, human rights, gender equity and meaningful public participation in decision-making. Consistent with our beliefs and ethics, HakiElimu is also committed to cultivating an explicit culture of openness, mutual respect, critical reflection and learning within the organization. We strive to practice these values in our programs, in relations with partners and affiliates and in internal processes. Where possible HakiElimu attempts to reach decisions through a process of consensus that encourages voicing of dissent and diverse viewpoints.


Organizational Culture

Our method of operation is open, inclusive, informal, experimental and creative at the same time as we work towards achieving a clear sense of focus, purpose, strategy and action. The question of impact - what difference do we make - will be stressed in all its aspects: relevance, scale, quality and sustainability.


The Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE)
It was created in 1992 as a response to the slow pace of implementation of Education for all goals in sub-Saharan Africa.


Tanzania Media Women Association (TAMWA)


A media NGO working to empower women journalists in Tanzania.






The Lawyers' Environmental Action Team (LEAT)
Is the first public interest environmental law organization in Tanzania. It was established in 1994 and formally registered in 1995 under the Societies Ordinance. Its mission is to ensure sound natural resource management and environmental protection in Tanzania.






The Tanzania Gender Networking Programme (TGNP)
Established in 1993, is a Tanzanian non governmental organization (NGO) working in the civil society sector, focusing on the practical promotion and application of gender equality and equity objectives through policy advocacy and mainstreaming of gender and pro-poor perspectives at all levels in the Tanzanian society, including the public and governmental sectors.


The Land Rights Research & Resources Institute (HakiArdhi)




It was founded in 1994 and registered as a non-governmental not-for-profit company limited.


The Economic and Social Research Foundation (ESRF)






The Economic and Social Research Foundation was established in 1994 as an independent, not-for-profit institution for research and policy analysis.

The formation of ESRF was based on the assumption that there was need and demand for an improved understanding of policy options and development management issues, and that the capacity for this was lacking in the Tanzania civil service.

ESRF addressed this gap by putting into place qualified professional staff, modest resources and a favourable research environment for the analysis and discussion of economic and social policy.

The primary objectives of the Foundation are to strengthen capabilities in policy analysis and development management and to enhance the understanding of policy options in the government, the public sector, civil society, and the donor community and the growing private sector.



Research on Poverty Alleviation, REPOA





undertakes and facilitates research, conducts and coordinates training, and promotes dialogue and development of policy for pro-poor growth and poverty reduction



World Vision-Tanzania

Women Development and the Law…WLDAF




Secondary Source of Information

These include textbooks such as:




Constitutional and Administrative law


Contract, Commercial and Company Law


Criminal Law and Procedure


Civil law and Procedure


Family Law, Equity and Succession


Labour Law


Land Law


Human Rights


Insurance Law




Legal Profession




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