1.   Short title.

   2.   [Disapplication.]

   3.   Saving of certain laws.


   4.   General rule of construction.

   5.   Interpretation.


   6.   Extent of jurisdiction of local courts.

   7.   Offences committed partly within and partly beyond the jurisdiction.


   8.   Ignorance of law.

   9.   Bona fide claim of right.

   10.   Relevance of intention or motive.

   11.   Mistake of fact.

   12.   Presumption of sanity.

   13.   Insanity.

   14.   Intoxication.

   15.   Immature age.

   16.   General immunity for officers.

   17.   Compulsion.

   18.   Defence of person or property.

   18A.   The right of defence

   18B.   Use of force in defence.

   18C.   When the right of defence extends to causing death.

   19.   Use of force in effecting arrest.

   20.   Compulsion by husband.

   21.   Person not to be punished twice for same offence.


   22.   Principal offenders.

   23.   Offences committed by joint offenders in prosecution of common purpose.

   24.   Counselling another to commit an offence.


   25.   Kinds of punishments.

   26.   Sentence of death.

   27.   Imprisonment.

   28.   Corporal punishment.

   29.   Fines.

   30.   Forfeiture.

   31.   Compensation.

   32.   Costs

   33.   Security for keeping the peace.

   34.   [Repealed.]

   35.   General punishment for offences where penalty not prescribed.

   36.   Sentences cumulative unless otherwise ordered.

   37.   Escaped convict to serve unexpired sentences when recaptured.

   38.   Absolute and conditional discharge.

   38A.   Commission of further offence.

   38B.   Effect of conviction and discharge.


Division I. – Offences against Public Order


   39.   Treason.

   40.   Treasonable offences.

   41.   Misprision of treason.

   42.   [Omitted.]

   43.   Promoting warlike undertakings.

   44.   [Replaced.]

   45.   Inciting to mutiny.

   46.   Aiding soldiers or police officers in acts of mutiny.

   47.   Inducing soldiers or police officers to desert.

   48.   Aiding prisoners of war to escape.

   49.   Definition of overt act.

   50.-54.   [Repealed.]

   55.   Seditious intention.

   56.-58.   [Repealed.]

   59.   Unlawful oaths to commit offences.

   60.   Other unlawful oaths to commit offences.

   61.   Compulsion as a defence.

   62.   Unlawful drilling.

   63.-63A.   [Repealed.]

   63B.   Raising discontent and ill-will for unlawful purposes.


   64.   [Repealed.]

   65.   Foreign enlistment.

   66.   Piracy.


   67.-73.   [Repealed.]

   74.   Definition of unlawful assembly and riot.

   75.   Punishment for unlawful assembly.

   76.   Punishment for riot.

   77.   Making proclamation calling for rioters to disperse.

   78.   Dispersion of rioters after proclamation.

   79.   Rioting after proclamation.

   80.   Preventing or obstructing the making of a proclamation.

   81.   Rioters demolishing buildings, etc.

   82.   Rioters damaging buildings, etc.

   83.   Riotously interfering with railway, vehicle, etc.

   84.   Going armed in public.

   85.   Forcible entry.

   86.   Forcible detainer.

   87.   Affray.

   88.   Challenge to fight a duel.

   89.   Abusive language, brawling and threatening violence.

   89A.   Watching or besetting.

   89B.   Intimidation.

   89C.   Dissuading persons from assisting with self-help schemes.

   90.   Assembling for the purpose of smuggling.

Division II. – Offences against the Administration of Lawful Authority.


   91.-93.   [Repealed.]

   94.   Officers charged with administration of property of a special character with special duties.

   95.   False claims by officials.

   96.   Abuse of office.

   97.   False certificates by public officers.

   98.   Unauthorised administration of extra-judicial oath.

   99.   False assumption of authority.

   100.   Personating public officers.

   101.   Threat of injury to persons employed in public service.


   102.   Perjury and subornation of perjury.

   103.   False statements by interpreters.

   104.   Punishment for perjury.

   105.   Evidence on charge of perjury.

   106.   Fabricating evidence.

   107.   False swearing.

   108.   Deceiving witnesses.

   109.   Destroying evidence.

   110.   Conspiracy to defeat justice and interference with witnesses.

   111.   Unlawful compounding of offences.

   112.   Compounding penal actions.

   113.   Advertisements for stolen property.

   114.   Contempt of court.

   114A.   Preventing or obstructing service or execution of process.


   115.   Rescue.

   116.   Escape from lawful custody.

   116A.   Absence from extramural employment.

   117.   Aiding prisoners to escape.

   118.   Removal, etc., property under lawful seizure.

   119.   [Repealed.]


   120.   Frauds and breaches of trust by public officers.

   121.   Neglect of official duty.

   122.   False information to person employed in the public service.

   123.   Disobedience of statutory duty.

   124.   Disobedience of lawful orders.

   124A.   [Repealed.]

Division III – Offences Injurious to the Public in General


   125.   Insult to religion.

   126.   Disturbing religious assemblies.

   127.   Trespassing on burial or other places.

   128.   Hindering burial of dead body.

   129.   Uttering words with intent to wound religious feelings.


    129A.   Definition of woman.

   130.   Rape.

   131.   Punishment for rape.

   131A.   Punishment for gang rape.

   132.   Attempted rape.

   133.   Abduction.

   134.   Abduction of girls under sixteen.

   135.   Sexual assault persons and indecent assaults on women.

   136.   [Repealed.]

   137.   Defilement of idiots or imbeciles.

   138.   Defilement by husband of wife under twelve, etc.

   138A.   Acts of gross indecency between persons.

   138B.   Sexual exploitation of children.

   138C.   Grave sexual abuse.

   138D.   Sexual harassment.

   139.   Procuration for prostitution.

   139A.   [Repealed.]

   140.   Procuring defilement.

   141.   Householder, etc., permitting defilement of girl under twelve years of age on his premises.

   142.   Householder, etc., permitting defilement of girl under sixteen years of age on his premises.

   143.   Detention in any premises with intent, or in brothel.

   144.   Power of search.

   145.   Male person living on earnings of prostitution or persistently soliciting.

   146.   Woman living on, or aiding, prostitution.

   147.   Power of search.

   148.   Brothels.

   149.   Conspiracy to induce unlawful sexual intercourse.

   150.   Attempts to procure abortion.

   151.   Procuring own miscarriage.

   152.   Supplying drugs or instruments to procure abortion.

   153.   Knowledge of age of female immaterial.

   154.   Unnatural offences.

   155.   Attempt to commit unnatural offences.

   156.   Indecent assault of boys under fourteen.

   157.   Indecent practices between males.

   158.   Incest by males.

   159.   Order for guardianship.

   160.   Incest by females.

   160A.   Punishment for sexual offences.

   161.   Test of relationship.

   162.   Sanction of Director of Public Prosecutions.


   163.   Fraudulent pretence of marriage.

   164.   [Repealed.]

   165.   Marriage ceremony fraudulently gone through without lawful marriage.

   166.   Desertion of children.

   167.   Neglecting to provide food, etc., for children.

   168.   Master not providing for servants or apprentices.

   169.   Child stealing.

   169A.   Cruelty to children.


   170.   Common nuisance.

   171.   Gaming houses.

   172.   Betting houses.

   173.   [Repealed.]

   173A.   [Repealed.]

   173B.   Chain letters.

   174.   Keeper of premises defined.

   175.   Traffic in obscene publications.

   176.   Idle and disorderly persons.

    176A.   Harbouring common prostitutes.

   177.   Rogues and vagabonds.

   177A.   Failure to account for money collected by public subscription.

   178.   Offences relating to uniforms.

   179.   Negligent act likely to spread infection.

   180.   Adulteration of food or drink intended for sale.

   181.   Sale of noxious food or drink.

   182.   Adulteration of drugs.

   183.   Sale of adulterated drugs.

   184.   Fouling water.

   185.   Fouling air.

   186.   Offensive trades.


   187.-194.   [Repealed.]


    194A.   Hoarding of commodities.

   194B.   [Repealed.]

Division IV – Offences against the Person


   195.   Manslaughter.

   196.   Murder.

   197.   Punishment for murder.

   198.   Punishment for manslaughter.

   199.   Conviction for infanticide in certain cases.

   200.   Malice aforethought.

   201.   Killing on provocation.

   202.   Provocation defined.

   203.   Causing death defined.

   204.   When child deemed to be a person.

   205.   Limitation as to time of death.


   206.   Responsibility of person who has charge of another.

   207.   Duty of head of family.

   208.   Duty of masters.

   209.   Duty of persons doing dangerous acts.

   210.   Duty of persons in charge of dangerous things.


   211.   Attempt to murder.

   212.   [Repealed.]

   213.   Accessory after the fact to murder.

   214.   Written threats to murder.

   215.   Conspiracy to murder.

   216.   Aiding suicide.

   217.   Attempting suicide.

   218.   Concealing the birth of a child.

   219.   Child destruction.


   220.   Disabling in order to commit offence.

   221.   Stupefying in order to commit offence.

   222.   Acts intended to cause grievous harm or prevent arrest.

   222A.   Possession of human being parts.

   223.   Preventing escape from wreck.

   224.   Endangering safety of persons travelling by railway.

   225.   Grievous harm.

   226.   Attempting to injure by explosive substances.

   227.   Maliciously administering poison with intent to harm.

   228.   Wounding and similar acts.

   229.   Failure to supply necessaries.

   230.   Responsibility as to surgical operation.

   231.   Criminal responsibility for excess force.

   232.   Effect of victim's consent on criminal responsibility for death or maim.


   233.   Reckless and negligent acts.

   234.   Other negligent acts causing harm.

   235.   Handling of poisonous substances in negligent manner.

   236.   [Omitted.]

   237.   Exhibition of false light, mark or buoy.

   238.   Conveying of person by water for hire in unsafe or overloaded vessel.

   239.   Danger or obstruction in public was or line of navigation.


   240.   Common assault.

   241.   Assaults causing actual bodily harm.

   242.   Assaults on persons protecting wreck.

   243.   Other types of assault.


   244.   Definition of kidnapping from Mainland Tanzania.

   245.   Definition of kidnapping from lawful guardianship.

   246.   Definition of abduction.

   247.   Punishment for kidnapping.

   248.   Kidnapping or abducting in order to murder.

   249.   Kidnapping or abducting with intent to confine.

   250.   Kidnapping or abducting with intent to do harm.

   251.   Wrongfully concealing kidnapped or abducted person.

   252.   Kidnapping or abducting child with intent to steal.

   253.   Punishment for wrongful confinement.

   254.   Buying or disposing of any person as a slave.

   255.   Habitual dealing in slaves.

   256.   Unlawful compulsory labour.

Division V. – Offences Relating to Property


   257.   Things capable of being stolen.

   258.   Definition of theft.

   259.   Special cases.

   260.   Funds, etc., held under direction.

   261.   Funds etc., received by agents from sales.

   262.   Money received for another.

   263.   Theft by persons having an interest in the thing stolen.

   264.   Husband and wife.

   265.   General punishment for theft.

   266.   Stealing wills.

   267.   [Repealed.]

   268.   Stealing certain animals.

   269.   Stealing from the person, etc.

   270.   Stealing by persons in public service.

   271.   Stealing by clerks and servants.

   272.   Stealing by directors or officers of companies.

   273.   Stealing by agents, etc.

   274.   Stealing by tenants or lodgers.

   275.   Stealing after previous conviction.


   276.   Concealing registers.

   277.   Concealing wills.

   278.   Concealing deeds.

   279.   Killing animals with intent to steal.

   280.   Severing with intent to steal.

   281.   Fraudulent disposition of mortgaged goods

   282.   Fraudulent dealing with minerals in mines.

   283.   Fraudulent appropriation of power.

   284.   Conversion not amounting to theft.

   284A.   Causing pecuniary loss or damage to property of specified authority.


   285.   Definition of robbery.

   286.   Punishment for robbery.

   287.   Attempted robbery.

   288.   Assault with intent to steal.

   289.   Demanding property by written threats.

   290.   Attempts at extortion by threats.

   291.   Procuring execution of deed, etc., by threats.

   292.   Demanding property with menaces with intent to steal.


   293.   Definition of breaking and entering.

   294.   Housebreaking and burglary.

   295.   Entering dwelling house with intent to commit offence.

   296.   Breaking into building and committing an offence.

   297.   Breaking into building with intent to commit and offence.

   298.   Being armed, etc., with intent to commit an offence.

   299.   Criminal trespass.

   300.   Forfeiture.


   301.   Definition of false pretence.

   302.   Obtaining goods by false pretences.

   303.   Obtaining execution of a security by false pretences.

   304.   Cheating.

   305.   Obtaining credit, etc., by false pretences.

   305A.   Where goods or credit obtained for someone else.

   306.   Conspiracy to defraud.

   307.   Frauds on sale or mortgage of property.

   308.   Pretending to tell fortunes.

   309.   Obtaining registration, etc., by false pretence.

   310.   False declaration for passport.


   311.   Receiving property stolen or unlawfully obtained, etc.

   312.   Persons conveying or having possession of goods suspected of having been stolen or unlawfully acquired.

   312A.   Unlawful possession or conveying of public stores.

   313.   Receiving goods stolen from outside Mainland Tanzania.


   314.   Trustees fraudulently disposing of trust property.

   315.   Misappropriation and fraud by directors and officers of corporations, etc.

   316.   False statements by official of companies.

   317.   Fraudulent accounting by clerk.

   318.   Fraudulent accounting by public officer.


    318A.   Endangering safety of aviation.

Division VI. – Malicious Injuries to Property


   319.   Arson.

   320.   Attempts to commit arson.

   321.   Setting fire to crops and growing plants.

   322.   Attempting to set fire to crops, etc.

   323.   Casting away vessels.

   324.   Attempts to cast away vessels.

   325.   Injuring animals.

   326.   Punishment for malicious injuries to property.

   327.   Attempts to destroy property by explosives.

   328.   Communicating infectious diseases to animals.

   329.   Removing boundary marks with intent to defraud.

   330.   [Repealed.]

   331.   Causing damage, etc., to railway works.

   332.   Threats to burn or destroy.

   332A.   Defacing bank notes.

   332B.   Kite-flying.

Division VII. – Forgery, Coining Counterfeiting and Similar Offences


   333.   Definition of forgery.

   334.   Interpretation of "document".

   335.   Making a false document.

   336.   Intent to defraud.


   337.   Offence of, and general punishment for forgery.

   338.   Forgeries punishable by imprisonment for life.

   339.   Forgery of judicial or official document.

   340.   Forgeries punishable by imprisonment for seven years.

   341.   Making or having in possession paper or implements for forgery.

   342.   Uttering false documents.

   343.   Uttering cancelled or exhausted documents.

   344.   Procuring execution of documents by false pretences.

   345.   Obliterating crossing on cheques.

   346.   Making documents without authority.

   347.   Demanding property upon forged testamentary instruments.

   348.   Purchasing forged notes.

   349.   Falsifying warrants for money payable under public authority.

   350.   Falsification of register.

   351.   Sending false certificate of marriage to register.

   352.   False statements for registers of births, deaths and marriages.

   352A.   Wrongful issue of notes.


   353.   Definitions.

   354.   Counterfeiting coins.

   355.   Preparations for coining.

   356.   Clipping.

   357.   Melting down of coin.

   358.   Impounding and destruction of counterfeit coin.

   359.   Possession of clippings.

   360.   Uttering counterfeit coin.

   361.   Repeated uttering.

   362.   Uttering medal or metal as coin.

   363.   Exporting counterfeit coin.

   364.   Forfeiture.


   365.   Possession of die used for purpose of making stamps.

   366.   Paper and dies for postage stamps.

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   367.   Trade marks defined.

   368.   Counterfeiting trade marks.


   369.   Personation in general.

   370.   Falsely acknowledging deeds, recognisances, etc.

   371.   Personation of a person named in a certificate.

   372.   Lending, etc., certificate for personation.

   373.   Personation of a person named in testimonial of character.

   374.   Lending, etc., testimonial for personation.

Division VIII. – Attempts, Conspiracies to Commit Crimes, Accessories after the Fact, and Solicitation and Incitement


   375.-379.   [Repealed.]


   380.   Attempt defined.

   381.   Attempt to commit offences.

   382.   Punishment of attempts to commit offences.

   383.   Neglect to prevent offence.


   384.   Conspiracy to commit offence punishable with imprisonment for three or more years of imprisonment.

   385.   Conspiracy to commit an offence punishable with imprisonment for less than three years.

   386.   Other conspiracies.


   387.   Definition of accessories after the fact.

   388.   Punishment of accessories after the fact to offences punishable with three or more years imprisonment.

   389.   Punishment of accessories after the fact to offences punishable with less than three years imprisonment.


   390.   Soliciting or inciting the commission of an offence.


An Act to establish a code of criminal law.

[28th September, 1945]

R.L. Cap. 390
R.L. Cap. 400
R.L. Cap. 440
Ords. Nos.
11 of 1930
10 of 1936
24 of 1939
16 of 1943
21 of 1945
11 of 1954
47 of 1954
19 of 1958
Acts Nos.
5, 23, 44 and 60 of 1961
12, 61 and C.A. No. 2 of 1962
15, 20 and 55 of 1963
16 and 65 of 1964
2 of 1965
12, 24, 31 and 65 of 1966
23 of 1967
50 of 1968
2 of 1970
5, 15 and 26 of 1971
2, 13 and 31 of 1972
23 of 1973
3 of 1976
14 of 1980
11 of 1983
13 of 1984
7 and 9 of 1985
12 of 1987
3 of 1988
10 and 17 of 1989
1, 5 and 17 of 1990
19 of 1992
1 of 1993
13 of 1994
3 of 1995
31 of 1997
4 and 12 of 1998
10 of 2001
9 of 2002
6 of 2008
G.Ns. Nos.
478 of 1962
222 of 1971
67 of 1972
15 of 1981



1.   Short title

   This Act may be cited as the Penal Code, and hereinafter is referred to as "this Code".

2.   Disappplication

   [Disapplication of Indian Penal Code.]

3.   Saving of certain laws Ord. No. 49 of 1955 s. 2; R.L. Cap. 500 s. 36">

   (1) Nothing in this Code shall affect–

   (a)   the liability, trial or punishment of a person for an offence against the common law or against any other law in force in Mainland Tanzania other than this Code;

   (b)   the liability of a person to be tried or punished for an offence under the provisions of any law in force in Mainland Tanzania relating to the jurisdiction of the courts in respect of acts done beyond the ordinary jurisdiction of those courts;

   (c)   the power of any court to punish a person for contempt of court; or

   (d)   any power of the President to grant a pardon or to remit or commute in whole or in part or to respite the execution of any sentence passed or to be passed.

   (2) If a person commits an offence which is punishable under this Code and is also punishable under another law of any of the kinds mentioned in this section, he shall not be punished for that offence both under that law and also under this Code.


4.   General rule of construction Act No. 14 of 1980 s. 3">

   Subject to the provisions of the Interpretation Act * and the expressions specifically defined in this Code, the Code shall be construed according to the principles of construction which may be applied to any written law, with regard to Tanzanian conditions and without applying any principle of strict construction relating to penal legislation.

5.   Interpretation R.L. Cap. 500 ss. 8 and 36; R.L. Cap. 537 6th Sch.; R.L. Cap. 553 2nd Sch.; Acts Nos: 2 of 1965 Sch; 24 of 1966 2nd Sch.; 50 of 1968 1st Sch.; 14 of 1980 s. 4">

   In this Code, unless the context requires otherwise–

   "court" means a court of competent jurisdiction;

   "dwelling house" includes any building or structure which is for the time being kept by the owner or occupier for the residence therein of himself, his family or servants or any of them, and it is immaterial that it is from time to time uninhabited; a building or structure adjacent to or occupied with a dwelling house is deemed to be part of the dwelling house if there is communication between that building or structure and the dwelling house, either immediate or by means of a covered and enclosed passage leading from the one to the other, but not otherwise;

   "harm" means any bodily hurt, disease or disorder whether permanent or temporary;

   "dangerous harm" means harm endangering life;

   "grievous harm" means any harm which amounts to a maim or dangerous harm, or seriously or permanently injures health or which is likely so to injure health, or which extends to permanent disfigurement, or to any permanent or serious injury to any external or internal organ, member or sense;

   "judicial proceeding" includes any proceeding had or taken in or before court, tribunal, commission or person in which or before whom evidence may be taken on oath;

   "knowingly" used in connection with any term denoting uttering or using, implies knowledge of the character of the thing uttered or used;

   "local government authority" means a local government authority established by law;

   "maim" means the destruction or permanent disabling of any external or internal organ, member or sense;

   "money" includes bank notes, currency notes, bank drafts, cheques and other orders, warrants or requests for the payment of money;

   "night" or "night-time" means the period between seven o'clock in the evening and six o'clock in the morning;

   "offence" means an act, attempt or omission punishable by law;

   "person" and "owner" and other like terms when used with reference to property include corporations of all kinds and any other association of persons capable of owning property, and also when so used include the Government;

   "person employed in the public service" means any person holding any of the following offices or performing the duty thereof, whether as a deputy or not, namely–

      (i)   any public office of the President, and any office the power of appointing a person to which or of removing from which is vested in the President or in a commission or board to which the President has delegated his function of, or which is established by written law for the purpose of, making appointments to any office;

      (ii)   any office to which a person is appointed or nominated under any law;

      (iii)   any civil office, the power of appointing to which or removing from which is vested in any person or persons holding an office of any kind included in paragraph (i) or (ii); or

      (iv)   any office of arbitrator or umpire in any proceeding or matter submitted to arbitration by order or with the sanction of any court, or in pursuance of any law;

      and also means–

      (i)   a justice of the peace;

      (ii)   a member of a commission of inquiry appointed under or in pursuance of any law;

      (iii)   any person employed to execute any process of a court;

       (iv)   a member of the Regular Force of the Defence Forces, a member of the National Service, and any other member of the Defence Forces when on duty;

      (v)   a person in the employment of any government department;

      (vi)   a person acting as a minister of religion of whatsoever denomination in so far as he performs functions in respect of the notification of intended marriage or in respect of the solemnisation of marriage, or in respect of the making or keeping of any register or certificate of marriage, birth, baptism, death or burial, but not in any other respect.

      (vii)   a member of a local government authority

      (viii)   a municipal councillor;

      (ix)   a person in the employment of a local government authority;

      (x)   any person employed by or in the service of any public corporation established under the Public Corporations Act * or a corporation established by or under any written law other than the Companies Act * or a company incorporated under the Companies Act which is wholly owned by the Government or which is a subsidiary of any public corporation.

   "possession", "be in possession of" or "have in possession" includes–

   (a)   not only having in one's own personal possession, but also knowingly having anything in the actual possession or custody of any other person, or having anything in any place (whether belonging to, or occupied by oneself or not) for the use or benefit of oneself or of any other person;

   (b)   if there are two or more persons and any one or more of them with the knowledge and consent of the rest has or have anything in his or their custody or possession, it shall be deemed and taken to be in the custody and possession of each and all of them;

   "property" includes everything animate or inanimate capable of being the subject of ownership;

   "public" refers not only to all persons within Mainland Tanzania but also to the persons inhabiting or using any particular place, or any number of those persons, and also to such indeterminate persons as may happen to be affected by the conduct in respect to which such expression is used;

   "public way" includes any highway, market place, square, street, bridge or other way which is lawfully used by the public;

   "public place" or "public premises" includes any public way and any building, place or conveyance to which, for the time being, the public are entitled or permitted to have access either without any condition or upon condition of making any payment, and any building or place which is for the time being used for any public or religious meetings, or assembly or as an open court;

   "publicly" when applied to an act means either–

   (a)   that it is so done in any public place as to be seen by any person whether such person is in a public place; or

   (b)   that it is so done in any place not being a public place as to be likely to be seen by any person in a public place;

   (c)   "utter" includes using or dealing with and attempting to use or deal with and attempting any person to use, deal with or act upon the thing in question;

   "valuable security" includes any document which is the property of any person and which is evidence of the ownership of any property or of the right to recover or receive any property;

   "vessel" includes a ship, a boat and every other kind of vessel used in navigation either on the sea or in inland waters, and includes aircraft;

   "wound" means any incision or puncture which divides or pierces any exterior membrane of the body; and any membrane is exterior for the purpose of this definition which can be touched without dividing or piercing any other membrane.


6.   Extent of jurisdiction of local courts Acts Nos: 31 of 1966 2nd Sch.; 14 of 1980 s. 5">

   The jurisdiction of the Courts of Mainland Tanzania for the purposes of this Code extends to–

   (a)   every place within Mainland Tanzania and within the territorial waters;

   (b)   any offence committed by a citizen of Mainland Tanzania in any place outside Mainland Tanzania; and

   (c)   any offence committed by any person on an aircraft registered in Mainland Tanzania.

7.   Offences committed partly within and partly beyond the jurisdiction

   When an act which, if wholly done within the jurisdiction of the court, would be an offence against this Code, is done partly within and partly beyond the jurisdiction, every person who within the jurisdiction does any part of such act may be tried and punished under this Code in the same manner as if such act had been done wholly within the jurisdiction.


8.   Ignorance of law

   Ignorance of the law does not afford any excuse for any act or omission which would otherwise constitute an offence unless knowledge of the law by the offender is expressly declared to be an element of the offence.

9.   Bona fide claim of right

   A person is not criminally responsible in respect of an offence relating to property if the act done or omitted to be done by him with respect to the property was done in the exercise of an honest claim of right and without intention to defraud.

10.   Relevance of intention or motive

   (1) Subject to the express provisions of this Code relating to negligent acts and omissions, a person is not criminally responsible for an act or omission which occurs independently of the exercise of his will or for an event which occurs by accident.

   (2) Unless the intention to cause a particular result is expressly declared to be an element of the offence constituted, in whole or part, by an act or omission, the result intended to be caused by an act or omission is immaterial.

   (3) Unless otherwise expressly declared, the motive by which a person is induced to do or omit to do an act, or to form an intention, is immaterial so far as regards criminal responsibility.

11.   Mistake of fact

   (1) A person who does or omits to do an act under an honest and reasonable, but mistaken, belief in the existence of any state of things is not criminally responsible for the act or omission to any greater extent than if the real state of things had been such as he believed to exist.

   (2) The operation of this rule may be excluded by the express or implied provisions of the law relating to the subject.

12.   Presumption of sanity

   Every person is presumed to be of sound mind and to have been of sound mind at any time which comes in question until the contrary is proved.

13.   Insanity

   (1) A person shall not be criminally responsible for an act or omission if at the time of doing the act or making the omission he is through any disease affecting his mind–

   (a)   incapable of understanding what he is doing;

   (b)   incapable of appreciating that he ought not to do the act or omission; or

   (c)   does not have control of the act or omission.

   (2) A person may be criminally responsible for an act or omission although his mind is affected by disease, if such disease does not in fact produce upon his mind one or other of the effects referred to in subsection (1) to that act or omission.

14.   Intoxication

   (1) Save as provided in this section, intoxication shall not constitute a defence to any criminal charge.

   (2) Intoxication shall be a defence to a criminal charge if by reason thereof the person charged at the time of the act or omission complained of did not understand what he was doing and–

   (a)   the state of intoxication was caused without his consent by the malicious or negligent act of another person; or

   (b)   the person charged was by reason of intoxication insane, temporarily or otherwise, at the time of such act or omission.

   (3) Where the defence under subsection (2) is established, then in a case falling under paragraph (a) of that subsection the accused shall be discharged and in a case falling under paragraph (b) of that subsection the provisions of this Code and of the Criminal Procedure Act * relating to insanity shall apply.

   (4) Intoxication shall be taken into account for the purpose of determining whether the person charged had formed any intention, specific or otherwise, in the absence of which he would not be guilty of the offence.

   (5) For the purpose of this section "intoxication" shall be deemed to include a state produced by narcotics or drugs.

15.   Immature age

   (1) A person under the age of ten years is not criminally responsible for any act or omission.

   (2) A person under the age of twelve years is not criminally responsible for an act or omission, unless it is proved that at the time of doing the act or making the omission he had capacity to know that he ought not to do the act or make the omission.

   (3) A male person under the age of twelve years is presumed to be incapable of having sexual intercourse.

16.   General immunity for officers Act No. 2 of 1970">

   Save as is expressly provided by this Code, no act or thing done or omitted to be done by a judicial officer shall, if the act or omission was done or omitted bona fide in the exercise of his judicial function, render the judicial officer criminally liable for the act or omission.

17.   Compulsion

   A person is not criminally responsible for an offence if it is committed by two or more offenders and if the act is done or omitted only because during the whole of the time in which it is being done or omitted the person is compelled to do or omit to do the act by threats on the part of the other offender or offenders instantly to kill him or do him grievous bodily harm if he refuses; but threats of future injury do not excuse any offence.

18.   Defence of person or property Act No. 14 of 1980 s. 6">

   Subject to the provisions of section 18A, a person is not criminally liable for an act done in the exercise of the right of self defence or the defence of another or the defence of property in accordance with the provisions of this Code.

18A.   The right of defence Act No. 14 of 1980 s. 7">

   (1) Subject to the provisions of this Code every person has the right–

   (a)   to defend himself or any other person against any unlawful act or assault or violence to the body; or

   (b)   to defend his own property or any property in his lawful possession, custody or under his care or the property of any other person against any unlawful act of seizure or destruction or violence.

   (2) In this section, the expression "property of any other person" includes any property belonging to the Government or a public corporation or an employer or any property communally owned by members of the public as a co-operative society or a village, whether or not that village is registered under the Local Government (District Authorities) Act *.

18B.   Use of force in defence Act No. 14 of 1980 s. 7">

   (1) In exercising the right of self defence or in defence of another or in defence of property, a person shall be entitled to use only such reasonable force as may be necessary for that defence.

   (2) A person shall be criminally liable for any offence resulting from excessive force used in self defence or in defence of another or in defence of property.

   (3) Any person who causes the death of another as the result of excessive force used in defence, shall be guilty of manslaughter.

18C.   When the right of defence extends to causing death

   (1) The right of self defence or the defence of another or defence of property shall extend to a person who, in exercising that right, causes death or grievous harm to another and the person so acting, acts in good faith and with an honest belief based on reasonable grounds that his act is necessary for the preservation of his own life or limb or the life or limb of another or of property, in the circumstances where–

   (a)   the lawful act is of such a nature as may reasonably cause the apprehension that his own death or the death of another person could be the consequence of that act;

   (b)   the lawful act is of such a nature as may reasonably cause the apprehension that grievous harm to his own body or the body of another could be the consequence of that unlawful act;

   (c)   the unlawful act is with the intention of committing rape or defilement or an unnatural offence;

   (d)   the unlawful act is with the intention of kidnapping or abducting; or

   (e)   the unlawful act is burglary or robbery or arson or any offence which endangers life or property.

   (2) If in the exercise of a right of defence in accordance with this Code, the person exercising that right is in such a situation that he cannot effectively exercise that right without risk of harm to an innocent person or property, his right of defence extends to the running of that risk.

19.   Use of force in effecting arrest

   Where any person is charged with a criminal offence arising out of the arrest, or attempted arrest, by him of a person who forcibly resists such arrest or attempts to evade being arrested, the court shall, in considering whether the means used were necessary or the degree of force used was reasonable for the apprehension of such person, have regard to the gravity of the offence which had been, or was being, committed by that person and the circumstances in which such offence had been, or was being, committed by that person.

20.   Compulsion by husband

   A married woman is not free from criminal responsibility for doing or omitting to do an act merely because the act or omission takes place in the presence of her husband; but on a charge against a wife for any offence other than treason or murder, it shall be a good defence to prove that the offence was committed in the presence and under the coercion of the husband.

21.   Person not to be punished twice for same offence Ord. No. 49 of 1955 s. 3">

   A person shall not be punished twice, either under the provisions of this Code or under the provisions of any other law, for the same offence.


22.   Principal offenders

   (1) When an offence is committed, each of the following persons is deemed to have taken part in committing the offence and to be guilty of the offence, and may be charged with actually committing namely–

   (a)   every person who actually does the act or makes the omission which constitutes the offence;

   (b)   every person who does or omits to do any act for the purpose of enabling or aiding another person to commit the offence;

   (c)   every person who aids or abets another person in committing the offence;

   (d)   any person who counsels or procures any other person to commit the offence, in which case he may be charged either with committing the offence or with counselling or procuring its commission.

   (2) A conviction of counselling or procuring the commission of an offence entails the same consequences in all respects as a conviction of committing the offence.

   (3) A person who procures another to do or omit to do any act of such a nature that, if he had himself done the act or made the omission the act or omission would have constituted an offence on his part, is guilty of an offence of the same kind and is liable to the same punishment as if he had himself done the act or the omission.

23.   Offences committed by joint offenders in prosecution of common purpose

   When two or more persons form a common intention to prosecute an unlawful purpose in conjunction with one another, and in the prosecution of such purpose an offence is committed of such a nature that its commission was a probable consequence of the prosecution of such purpose, each of them is deemed to have committed the offence.

24.   Counselling another to commit an offence

   When a person counsels another to commit an offence, and an offence is actually committed after such counsel by the person whom it is given, it is immaterial whether the offence actually committed is the same as that counselled or a different one, or whether the offence is committed in the way counselled or in a different way, provided in either case that the facts constituting the offence actually committed are a probable consequence of carrying out the counsel and in either case the person who gave the counsel is deemed to have counselled the other person to commit the offence actually committed by him.

PUNISHMENTS (ss 25-38)

25.   Kinds of punishments

   The following punishments may be inflicted by a court–

   (a)   death;

   (b)   imprisonment;

   (c)   corporal punishment;

   (d)   fine;

   (e)   forfeiture;

   (f)   payment of compensation;

   (g)   finding security to keep the peace and be of good behaviour or to come up for judgment;

   (h)   any other punishment provided by this Code or by any other law.

26.   Sentence of death Acts Nos. 55 of 1963 6th Sch.; 31 of 1997 Sch.; 9 of 2002 Sch.">

   (1) When a person is sentenced to death, the sentence shall direct that he shall suffer death by hanging:

   Provided that, if a woman convicted of an offence punishable with death is alleged to be pregnant, the court shall inquire into the fact and, if it is proved to the satisfaction of the court that she is pregnant the sentence to be passed on her shall be a sentence of imprisonment for life instead of a sentence of death.

   (2) The sentence, of death shall not be pronounced on or recorded against any person who at the time of the commission of the offence was under eighteen years of age, but in, lieu of the sentence of death, the court shall sentence that person to be detained during the President's pleasure, and if so sentenced he shall be liable to be detained in such place and under such conditions as the Minister for the time being responsible for legal affair may direct, and whilst so detained shall be deemed to be in legal custody.

   (3) When a person has been sentenced to be detained during the President's pleasure under subsection (2), the presiding judge shall forward to the Minister for the time being responsible for legal affairs a copy of the notes of evidence taken at the trial, with a report in writing signed by him containing such recommendation or observation on the case as he may think fit to make.

   (4) The superintendent of a prison or other place in which a person under the age of eighteen years is detained by a direction of the Minister under subsection (2), shall make a report in writing to the Minister of the condition, history and character of such person at the expiration of a period of ten years from the period of the Minister's direction.

   (5) Upon receipt and consideration of the report under subsection (4), the Minister may order that a person under the age of eighteen years be discharged or otherwise dealt with on such conditions as to his remaining under the supervision in any place or by any person and to such other conditions for ensuring the safety and welfare of the said person and the public as the Minister shall think fit.

27.   Imprisonment

   (1) [Omitted by virtue of s. 30 of Cap. 357.]

   (2) A person liable to imprisonment may be sentenced to pay a fine in addition to, or instead of, imprisonment, or where the court so determines under the Community Service Act *, to community service under a community service order.

28.   Corporal punishment

   Subject to the provisions of the Minimum Sentences Act *, where in this Code it is provided that any person shall be liable to undergo corporal punishment, such punishment shall, if awarded, be inflicted in accordance with the provisions of the Corporal Punishment Act *.

29.   Fines Act No. 13 of 1972 Sch.">

   Where a fine is imposed under any law, in the absence of express provisions relating to the fine in that law the following provisions shall apply–

   (a)   where no sum is expressed to which the fine may extend, the amount of the fine which may be imposed is unlimited but shall not be excessive;

   (b)   in the case of an offence punishable with a fine or a term of imprisonment, the imposition of a fine or a term of imprisonment shall be a matter for the discretion of the court;

   (c)   in the case of an offence punishable with imprisonment as well as a fine in which the Offender is sentenced to a fine with or without imprisonment and in every case of an offence punishable with a fine only in which the offender is sentenced to a fine, the court passing sentence may, in its discretion–

      (i)   direct by its sentence that in default of payment of the fine the offender shall suffer imprisonment for a certain term, which imprisonment shall be in addition to any other imprisonment to which he may have been sentenced or to which he may be liable under a commutation of sentence; and

      (ii)   issue a warrant for the levy of the amount on the immovable and movable property of the offender by distress and sale under warrant:

         Provided that if the sentence directs that in default of payment of the fine the offender shall be imprisoned, and if such offender has undergone the whole of such imprisonment in default, no court shall issue a distress warrant unless for special reasons to be recorded in writing it considers it necessary to do so;

   (d)   the term of imprisonment ordered by a court in respect of money adjudged to be paid upon conviction or in respect of the default of a sufficient distress to satisfy any such sum shall be such term as in the opinion of the court will satisfy the justice of the case, but shall not exceed in any case the maximum fixed by the following scale:–

Not exceeding Shs. 50/-14 days
Exceeding Shs. 50/- but not exceeding Shs. 2002 months
Exceeding Shs. 200/- but not exceeding Shs. 2,000 /6 months
Exceeding Shs. 2,000/- but not exceeding 10,000/-12 months
Exceeding shs. 10,000/-24 months

   (e)   the imprisonment which is imposed in default of payment of a fine shall terminate when the fine is either paid or levied by process of law.

30.   Forfeiture

   When a person is convicted of an offence under section 111 or 112, the court may, in addition to or in lieu of, any penalty which may be imposed, order the forfeiture to the Republic of any property which has passed in connection with the commission of the offence, or if the property cannot be forfeited or cannot be found, of such sum as the court shall assess as the value of the property and payment of any sum so ordered to be forfeited may be enforced in the same manner and subject to the same incidents as in the case of the payment of a fine.

31.   Compensation

   In accordance with the provisions of section 348 of the Criminal Procedure Act *, any person who is convicted of an offence may be adjudged to make compensation to any person injured by his offence and the compensation may be either in addition to or in substitution for any other punishment.

32.   Costs

   Subject to the limitations imposed by section 345 of the Criminal Procedure Act *, a court may order any person convicted of an offence to pay the costs of and incidental to the whole or part of the prosecution.

33.   Security for keeping the peace

   A person convicted of an offence not punishable with death may, instead of, or in addition to, any punishment to which he is liable, be ordered to enter into his own recognisance, with or without sureties, in such amount as the court thinks fit, requiring him to keep the peace and be of good behaviour for a time to be fixed by the court, and may be ordered to be imprisoned until such recognisance, with sureties, if so directed, is entered into; but so that the imprisonment for not entering into the recognisance shall not extend for a term longer than one year, and shall not, together with the fixed term of imprisonment, if any, extend for a term longer than the longest term for which he might be sentenced to be imprisoned without fine.

34.   Repealed

   [Repealed by Ord No. 5 of 1961 s. 2.]

35.   General punishment for offences where penalty not prescribed

   When in this Code no punishment is expressly provided for any offence, it shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or with a fine or with both.

36.   Sentences cumulative unless otherwise ordered

   Where a person after conviction for an offence is convicted of another offence, either before sentence is passed upon him under the first conviction or before the expiration of that sentence any sentence, other than a sentence of death or of corporal punishment which is passed upon him under the subsequent conviction shall be executed after the expiration of the former sentence unless the court directs that it shall be executed concurrently with the former sentence or any part of that sentence:

   Provided that a court shall not direct that a sentence of imprisonment in default of payment of a fine be executed concurrently with a former sentence under section 29(c)(i) or with any part of that a sentence.

37.   Escaped convicts to serve unexpired sentences when recaptured

   When sentence is passed under this Code on an escaped convict the sentence, if of death, fine or corporal punishment shall, subject to the provisions of this Code, take effect immediately and, if of imprisonment, shall take effect according to the following rules, that is to say–

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