Ndugai tasks women MPs to work on inheritance law amendment motion

19Jun 2019
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Ndugai tasks women MPs to work on inheritance law amendment motion

SPEAKER of the National Assembly, Job Ndugai has challenged the Tanzania Women’s Parliamentary Group (TWPG) to consider moving a motion in the legislature for amendment of the law on Inheritance to ensure widows get their rightful inheritances.

SPEAKER of the National Assembly, Job Ndugai.

Ndugai stated that the MPs under their umbrella group represent women, most of who suffer after husband’s death as the law seems not strong enough to protect them.

He affirmed that procedural laws favour the selection of male administrators even if they are distant relatives of the deceased, excluding women from the management of assets.

“It is so unfortunate that widows have to contend with widespread property grabbing, eviction from their houses,” he said, emphasizing that something must be done to reverse the trend.

The speaker intervened during a supplementary question by Special Seats MP Silafu Maufi (CCM) who called on the government to ensure widows get their rights upon the husband’s death.

Earlier in the main question, she wondered why women’s names are not written on cheques in payment of their late husband’s. “Does the government see this as a form of discrimination to widows who deserve all the rights to their late husband’s properties?” she demanded.

The MP noted that if it is the law, why can’t the government bring it to the legislature for amendment?

In response, the minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Dr Augustine Mahiga said despite having good laws, there is still low understanding among Tanzanians on laws, regulations and procedures on matters of inheritance.

The ministry through the Registration, Insolvency and Trusteeship Agency (RITA) and other stakeholders have constantly been providing public education to various groups of people on inheritance.

“Matters of inheritance are governed by the Inheritance Act section 352 that provides guidance on the whole process of inheritance and depositing wills among other procedures,” he said.

Legislators need to work with other stakeholders and support government initiatives to ensure education on inheritance law reach as many people as possible, especially the rural based population, the minister added.

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