Court name
High Court of Tanzania

Juma Makiya vs Hamisi Mohamed () [1985] TZHC 39 (27 November 1985);

Law report citations
1984 TLR 53 (TZHC)
Media neutral citation
[1985] TZHC 39

Lugakingira, J.: In Civil Case No. 86/82 of the Urban Primary Court at Singida the appellant Juma  A Makiya sued the respondent and two others to recover a piece of land. At an advanced stage of the proceeding the appellant withdrew the suit and it was so marked but without consequential orders. The respondent then commenced the present proceedings claiming in all 8,214/- as compensation for  B lost crops and expenses incurred in consequence of the said suit. The trial court awarded him 600/- for witness expenses and 400/- for "inconvenience" and rejected the rest of the claim. The decision was upheld by the District Court and this is the second appeal.  C
The problem with the courts below was simple. They addressed themselves to the withdrawal of the suit rather than the truth and availability of the respondent's claim. Under rule 16(1) of the Primary Courts Civil Procedure Rules, G.N. No. 310/64, a claimant may at any time withdraw a proceeding or  D abandon part of his claim and in doing so he would not ipso facto incur liability. The respondent had, therefore, to establish his claim. I note that he claimed 600/- for three witnesses for four days but there was no scintilla of evidence in support of that expenditure. The respondent's witness Haji Lesso, the only witness who testified in both suits, never alluded to any expenditure. But this  E having been a claim for costs it was necessary to prove it with documentary or reliable oral evidence. There was no such evidence and, therefore, there was no basis for the award. It was unsafe to act on the respondent's bare assertion for that could have been anything. I then found it interesting that the respondent was also compensated for the "inconvenience" of attending court. This implies that  F court proceedings are an inconvenience for which damages are recoverable. I do not subscribe to that view.
The appeal is allowed with costs, the decisions of the lower courts being set aside. G
Appeal allowed. H