Court name
High Court of Tanzania

Bhoke Chacha vs Daniel Misenya () [1984] TZHC 26 (24 July 1984);

Law report citations
1983 TLR 329 (TZHC)
Media neutral citation
[1984] TZHC 26

Mushi, J.: The appellant, Bhoke Chacha, unsuccessfully sued the respondent, Daniel Misenya, on a claim which was couched in the following terms: C
   "That the defendant falsely reported to police that plaintiff created disturbance in the public meeting and the plaintiff was arrested charged and convicted on that offence, plaintiff was sentenced to four months jail, plaintiff, appealed against conviction and sentence to the D District Court and his appeal was allowed in criminal case No. 30/78.
   Therefore: Plaintiff claims 6,000/= from defendant being general compensation for the days which plaintiff stayed in jail or suffered and for the loss of his crop which were spoiled by wild E animals (pigs) and birds when plaintiff was serving sentence in prison".
The plaint, as it is, is not precise and clear as it should be.  However, being as it is a product of a lay hand one has to read it and try to find out exactly what the plaintiff is up F to.  From the plaint, it would appear that in substance the plaint is that the defendant made a false report to the police that he had created disturbance.  As a result, of this false report, he was maliciously prosecuted.  From the plaint, the appellant is claiming both general and special damages although he has not shown it in different heads.  The G learned trial magistrate heard the evidence and after careful consideration of law and facts he came to the conclusion and I quote:
   "I am not persuaded that the plaintiff has established malice and lack of reasonable or probable cause so as to sustain a suit for malicious prosecution". H
And the suit was dismissed with costs to the respondent.  The appellant was dissatisfied with the decision and he has appealed to this court.  He has written a long memorandum almost stating all what was stated at the trial but without raising specific points I challenging the decision of the trial court. I should immediately here state that the decision of the

district court cannot be faulted and the appeal will be dismissed. A
There is no dispute at all that the appellant was prosecuted and convicted and sentenced to four months' imprisonment.  It is also a fact that the appellant was acquitted on appeal.  It was also admitted that the respondent was the one who complained to the police against the appellant.  As it was stated by the trial magistrate, even with all these B facts accepted, that by itself did not prove the appellant's claim.  This is the correct legal position.  The fact that the appellant was subsequently acquitted does not establish that the original complaint by the respondent was false and malicious.  No amount of tearful or eloquent complaints will change this position.  It is for the appellant to prove that the C respondent's report was malicious and it was made without any reasonable or probable cause.  This can only be done by adducing evidence which will lead the court to make a finding whether the respondent acted maliciously and without reasonable and probable cause.  There was no evidence at all on which the trial magistrate could have come to that conclusion. D
Even if there had been some evidence to satisfy the court that the respondent was malicious and acted without reasonable and probable cause, the appellant would still be required to establish that he suffered some injury for which he was entitled to some amount of damages.  This he did not do.  For the appellant to be entitled to general E damages, he would have to prove that he suffered mental or physical pain as a result of being sent to prison.  The mere fact that the appellant was imprisoned, did not by itself justify grant of damages. Or at least the appellant should have adduced evidence to show that as a result of being imprisoned, his dignity or fame has suffered in the estimation of fellow citizens and that his standing in the society has suffered to his F detriment as a whole.  There was nothing of this kind in the evidence.  As for the allegations that some crop was eaten by pigs and birds there was no evidence to prove the allegations.  It was upon the appellant to adduce evidence to prove the allegation and to prove exactly how much crop was worth.  The appellant cannot expect the court to G grant what he has requested without proving to the satisfaction of the law that he is entitled to it.  The suit was rightly dismissed and the appeal is without any merits and it is dismissed.  The respondent is entitled to his costs in this court and the trial court. H
Appeal dismissed.