Court name
High Court of Tanzania

Pili Juma Bilali vs Abdullah Khalifa () [1986] TZHC 10 (01 June 1986);

Law report citations
1986 TLR 201 (TZHC)
Media neutral citation
[1986] TZHC 10

  G Lugakingira, J.: The dispute in this proceeding was over the terms of a contractual tenancy.  The proceeding was commenced in the Urban Primary Court at Singida and terminated on appeal in the District Court.  It then came to the attention of the Resident Magistrate in-charge who was of the view that the two courts had no  H jurisdiction in the matter in view of the provisions of the Rent Restriction Act, 1984.  He therefore forwarded the records here for appropriate orders.
I have had the opportunity of perusing the Act but it is not clear to what extent it ousts the jurisdiction of the courts in  I matters arising under it.  There is a long list of powers, including the power

  A to exercise jurisdiction in all civil matters, which are vested in Regional Housing Tribunals, but it is not clear whether those powers are exercisable to the exclusion of the courts.  This important question cannot be answered in the present exercise where I have not had the advantage of arguments and must await a proper occasion.
  B That said, however, I agree with the learned Resident Magistrate in-charge that the Primary Court had no jurisdiction in the matter.  The jurisdiction of primary courts arises where the law applicable is customary law or Islamic law, or where jurisdiction is otherwise conferred by statute.  The present case arises out of a landlord and tenant agreement   C which related to premises situated in a rent restriction area and there is no provision conferring jurisdiction on primary courts in that sphere.  It follows, therefore, that the purported proceeding in the Primary Court was a nullity as was the appeal arising therefrom.
  D Accordingly, the proceedings are quashed in their entirety.  The plaintiff is at liberty to pursue its remedies in the appropriate venue.
Order accordingly.