According to observations from Arusha City Legal Aid Network, husbands usually drag their wives to be witnesses when going to register or sign property agreements and majority of them they do not know that they are part and parcel of the transactions.
The Arusha City Legal Aid Network (ACLAN), had for the past eight days set camp at the Nane-Nane grounds in Njiro area, where the officials have been providing legal education to hundreds of residents that have been attending the annual Agriculture shows in the venue, in order to raise this awareness among mostly women.
Anna Kulaya, the Director of Women in Law and Development (WiLDAF), and Mary Rusimbi, the executive Director for Women Fund Tanzania Trust, have both insisted that, awareness needs to be raised in the community in order to save families that are usually supported by mostly women.
“Wives have been standing in as witnesses to their husbands’ properties or businesses,” explained the Secretary of ‘Smart Community on Legal Protection Organization, Amani Michael; “So they live in such faith, but their hopes eventually get dashed upon the deaths of their husbands, when the man’s family moves in to grab everything and even when the couple gets to divorce the wife is sent out in the cold, empty handed.”
According to Michael, his organization has been following up of local marriages that break up, discovering that all properties were always listed in the man’s own names, while the women were listed as ‘witnesses’ something which fools many wives who upon seeing their names on papers believe they are also owners but actually they turn out to be just observers.
Mary Mwita is the secretary of the network, who added that they are still working hard to ensure that this awareness is impacted to all members of the community.
“To start with, we need to make sure that all Tanzanians possess the National Constitutions which is the foundation of all laws and regulations. Unfortunately few have copies of the document,” said Mwita.
“When it comes to family properties, residents should be aware that it is very possible to list more than two names in ownership slots, which means women should also be accommodated so that they get co-ownership of possessions,” she maintained.