Tanzania: Trader Loses Case, Vehicle Confiscated in Police Station

THE High Court has refused to order the Attorney General (AG) to pay businessman Julian Kimaro about 200m/- as compensation and costs of his MG 6152 Landrover 109 vehicle, seized at Gairo Police Station having been linked with murder incident.

Judge Yose Mlyambina dismissed the suit the businessman, as plaintiff, had lodged for lack of merits.

He ruled that the plaintiff failed to prove ownership of the motor vehicle that could entitle him to the compensation in question.

"Having gone through the pleadings, exhibits, judicial notice and evidence of both parties before this Court, the Court is of the view that there is no sufficient evidence to prove that the said motor vehicle make Land Rover 109 belongs to the Plaintiff," the judge declared.

During the hearing session, he observed, the plaintiff had alleged that the original document was in the possession of the AG, the defendant in the suit, and he had given notice to him as required by law under Section 66 of the Law of Evidence.

"It is the duty of Plaintiff to prove that the said property belongs to him. Since the Plaintiff failed to prove that the original document being in the possession of Defendant, then secondary evidence is not admissible basing on Section 67 (5) of the Law of Evidence Act," the judge said.

According to him, even if secondary evidence would be admissible in Court, the letter dated May 23, 2006 allegedly sent to Gairo Police Station in Morogoro Region, for the return of the motor vehicle after conclusion of the murder trial; do not form part of the pleadings.

It was his firm position that the Plaintiff did not establish whether the Motor Vehicle Reg. No. MG 6152 Landrover 109 belongs to him.

The judge concluded, "It is the further findings of this Court that failure to prove ownership could not entitle the Plaintiff for the return of the same motor vehicle to him. In the premises of the above finding, the only available relief (s) is to, as I hereby dismiss the suit for lack of merits."

Way back on August 19, 2002 the Plaintiff's car was seized for being linked to an incident of murder.

The said charges which were against Said Mhando and Juma Mohamed, the plaintiff's employees, ended up with an acquittal coupled with an order to return back the seized car to him.

Since that judgment by the High Court in the murder trial, the Plaintiff has made endless efforts to obtain and return back his car without success.

He had no other option than to institute the suit against the AG, seeking a number of reliefs. The plaintiff sought for an order for the defendant to pay him 30m/-being the total costs for the seized car.

He applied for another order for payment of 162m/- as compensation for income that would have been generated by the Plaintiff. He also pressed for 1, 152,000/-as general damages occasioned.

It was stated that the plaintiff's allegation was denied by the defendant in its Written Statement of Defence (WSD) and sought for a judgment, dismissing the suit by the plaintiff with costs.

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