The Court of Appeal has allowed the Tanzania Electric Supply Company (Tanesco) Limited to challenge payments of over 945m/- awarded to residents of Ukonga in Dar es Salaam in a controversy linked to land acquired for implementation of electrification upgrade projects.
Justice Sivangilwa Mwangesi ruled in favour of Tanesco, the applicant, after granting their application for extension of time within which to file an application for stay of execution of the decision given by the High Court in a land case that has been pending since 2008.
"Notwithstanding the fact that the applicant has failed to sufficiently account for the delay in lodging the application, (since) there is a complaint of illegality in a decision intended to be impugned, it suffices to move the court to grant the extension of time so that the alleged illegality can be addressed," he said.
The judge took into consideration an argument that the decision sought to be expunged was not legally reached at the amount awarded of 945,266,500/- to the residents of Ukonga in the city, as respondents in the matter, was not established at all.
Referring to some decided cases, Justice Mwangesi pointed out, "It is settled law that a claim of illegality of the challenged decision constitutes sufficient reason for extension of time regardless of whether or not a reasonable explanation has been given by the applicant under the rules to account for the delay."
During hearing of the application, advocate Richard Rweyongeza, assisted by Counsel Majura Magafu, told the court that the matter originated from a decision of the High Court delivered on February 5, 2015, by Judge Latifa Mansour.
According to the judgment in question, the respondents were awarded the said 945,266,500/-, which they were claiming from the applicant, being balance of compensation for their land situated in Guluka Kwalala in Ukonga area in the city.
The land was to be acquired by the applicant for implementation of its Dar es Salaam electrification upgrade projects known as Tanzania Energy Development and Expansion Project (TEDAP).
Having been aggrieved by the whole decision of the trial court, the applicant lodged a notice of appeal and asked from the court to be supplied with copies of judgment, decree and proceedings for processing the appeal. The applicant further applied for extension of time to apply for leave to appeal.
Such application for leave was struck out on February 26, 2015.
It was refilled later on and is still pending.
Advocate Rweyongeza further submitted that the applicant filed an application before the Court of Appeal, seeking for extension of time to apply for stay of execution of the High Court decree. The application was granted on February 23, 2016, where the applicant was given 30 days.