Court name
High Court of Tanzania

Simon Mlelema vs Ningistiiwa Kachwele () [1989] TZHC 25 (13 July 1989);

Law report citations
1989 TLR 115 (TZHC)
Media neutral citation
[1989] TZHC 25
Munyera, J.

Munyera, J.: The appellant was the plaintiff on the trial. He sued the respondent for E recovery of eleven (11) head of cattle he alleged were his inheritance. It was agreed the respondent was his step mother, his father married her and lived with her for more than 20 years. His father died in 1986 and by then he (appellant) had his separate homestead. F On the deceased's death everything remained in the hands of the respondent. In 1987 the appellant filed this suit claiming the property left by his deceased father, in particular he claimed eleven head of cattle then in possession of the respondent. In her defence the defendant/respondent argued the cattle were acquired through joint efforts of her G deceased husband and herself. She called several witnesses who told the court that the clan council had allowed her to retain 8 out of the 11 cattle left by her husband. The trial court unanimously rejected the respondent's defence and gave judgment for the appellant and ordered the respondent to surrender all 11 cows to him. The respondent H successfully appealed to the District Court. In turn the appellant brought this appeal, blaming the Senior District Magistrate for reversing the judgment of the trial court.
The trial court erred in law. It was undisputed the respondent is the widow of the I appellant's father, they lived together for about 25 years although they were not blessed with children. It appears

the appellant's mother had gone away and he himself was brought up by his step mother, A the respondent. Rule 77 of GN 279/63 provides a childless widow is entitled to maintenance out of the property left by her deceased husband. In this connection there was evidence the clan council had given 8 cows to the respondent and the decision was B a wise one, the trial court ought to have abided by it. For that reason the decision of the District Court awarding her 8 out of ll cattle left by the deceased was a sound one and is upheld. The appeal is dismissed with costs.
C Appeal dismissed.