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Tanzania: Court Set to Deliver Ruling On TLS Meeting Petition

THE outcome of a petition seeking to challenge the holding of the Tanganyika Law Society (TLS) Annual General Meeting (AGM) slated for March 18 will be known today, when the High Court in Dar es Salaam will give its decision.

A panel comprising judges Rose Teemba, Beatrice Mutungi and Ignas Kitusi will deliver their ruling after going through submissions presented by parties in the matter, following a set of grounds of objections raised by lawyers for TLS and the Attorney General (AG), as respondents.

In the matter, a member of the bar, Mr Onesmo Mpinzile, has petitioned the High Court to challenge rules governing the conduct of TLS. Through his advocate, Emmanuel Makene, the petitioner alleges that the rules in question were signed by the then President Charles Rwechungura, while he had no such powers.

He claims that at the time such rules were signed, in December last year, Mr Rwechungura had ceased to be the president of the local bar association. Mr Rwechungura, a seasoned lawyer in the country, ceased to be the President of TLS in February, last year.

He was succeeded by another advocate, Mr John Seka. But, before hearing the petition in question, lawyers for TLS, Ms Zahran Sinare, Mr Jeremiah Motleys and Mr Hamis Tika and that of the AG, Principal State Attorney Sarah Mwipopo, raised grounds of objections, seeking dismissal of the matter.

They told the panel that the petitioner had no locus to file the petition against the bar association (TLS) and that since he was a member of the bar he had the chance of bringing it before the AGM for resolution before seeking the court’s intervention.

The lawyers submitted that the court has not been properly moved to grant the interim orders sought and that the orders sought are frivolous, vexatious and malicious intended to frustrate the planned TLS elections.

According to the advocates, the affidavit in support of the petition was defective for containing arguments contrary to the law relating to affidavits and that the petition has been filed in violation to the provisions of section 8 (2) of the Basic Rights and Duties Enforcement Act.

In his reply to the submissions by advocates for the respondents in the matter, advocate Makene told the court that his client has locus to bring the court action and that the petition has been timely filed before the court for determination.

There has been a tag of war on whether the bar association’s AGM should be held wherein the members are expected to elect a new president and other top posts, with advocates Lissu, Masha and Francis Stolla being prominent figures vying for the hotly contested presidency.

©Alleastafrica and Daily News

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