19 October 2017

Tanzania: Court Asked to Amend Artist's 2.185 Bn Verdict

MIC Tanzania Limited, trading as Tigo, yesterday asked the Ilala District Court to amend its judgment and decree for payments of 2.185bn/- damages to two Bongo flava artistes Hamis Mwinyijuma "MwanaFA" and Ambwene Yesaya "AY" in the musical copyright dispute.

Advocate Ranson Mbwambo, for Tigo, told Senior Resident Magistrate in Charge Rita Tarimo that the judgment and decree of the court dated April11, 2016, should be amended by including in its title the name of the third party, M/s Cellular Tanzania Limited, who has been one of the parties in the suit.

He submitted that when looking at the judgment, there is reference to the third party, who was mentioned by his name or his supplier and that the records of proceedings clearly display that the third party was made a party to the suit involving MIC Tanzania Limited and the two artists.

"The judgment should have indicated in the title the name of the third party. For not indicating the third party in the title of the judgment is an incidental omission that calls for amendments. The only remedy to correct that omission is to make correction by adding the name of the third party," he argued.

Advocate Mbwambo submitted further that the amendments sought to be made were intended to bring the records in order and harmony to the proceedings. He said that by not adding the third party in the title of the judgment would make mismatch of the judgment and the record of proceedings.

Referring to an affidavit sworn by Advocate Herman Lupogo, for Tigo, the senior counsel submitted that the two local musicians instituted a suit at the Ilala District Court, claiming his client has used their copyrighted musical works without their consent.

According to the affidavit, Tigo negated the claims in that the contentious musical works were legally procured from another person other than the respondents, among other reasons.

Before commencement of the hearing, the court was requested to issue a third party notice against M/s Cellular Tanzania Limited, which through a contract had sold the contentious musical works to it.

Mbwambo submitted that on June 30, 2014, the court granted the request and the third party dully appeared before the court.

The third party filed its written statement of defence essentially admitting the claims that it procured the said musical works from a company called Sonny Music Entertainment Africa Limited, a company which had contract with the sound producers. He submitted that M/s Cellular Tanzania Limited did not appear thereafter when the suit was called on for hearing.

He said that the matter proceeded in his absence. The judgment was delivered against the applicant, awarding specific damages to the tune of 2,185,000,000/- in favour of the two artists. However, the advocate told the court further that when the judgment was delivered, the name of the third party in the title was omitted.

After hearing the submissions by Tigo in support of the application, advocate Ally Hamza, who is appearing for the two local musicians, requested the court to grant him time to prepare for his reply submissions. The court granted the request and adjourned the matter to today.

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