1.   Short title.

   2.   Interpretation.

   3.   Determination of whether a society is a sports association.

   4.   Sports associations to cease to be registered societies.

   5.   Appointment of Registrars.

   6.   Protection of public officers.

   7.   Societies deemed to be established in Tanzania.

   8.   President may declare society unlawful.

   9.   Minister may require organisations to register as societies.

   10.   Provisions to apply when organisation dissolved.

   11.   Companies and co-operatives formed for the purposes of a club.

   12.   Duty of local societies to register.

   13.   Grounds for refusing registration.

   14.   Registrar shall refuse to register or exempt in certain circumstances.

   15.   Method of effecting registration.

   16.   Rescission of exemption.

   17.   Cancellation of registration.

   18.   Prohibition of specified acts by or on behalf of certain societies.

   19.   Appeals.

   20.   Cessation of existence of a society.

   21.   Information to be furnished by registered societies.

   22.   Registrar may call for audited accounts.

   23.   Persons responsible for supplying information.

   24.   Discretion to publish information for the benefit of members.

   25.   Offences by office-bearers, etc., of unlawful society.

   26.   Offences by member of unlawful society.

   27.   Offence of allowing unlawful society on premises.

   28.   Presumptions.

   29.   Presumption of membership, etc., of society.

   30.   Orders for winding up affairs of unlawful society and distribution of surplus assets.

   31.   Power to enter and search meeting places or business places.

   32.   Power to enter and search meeting places, etc., and make arrests and seizures.

   33.   Power of Registrar to summon witnesses.

   34.   Consent to prosecute.

   35.   Forfeiture.

   36.   Registered office.

   37.   Service of summons, etc.

   38.   Rules.

   39.   [Amendment of Cap. 16.]

   40.   [Temporary and transitional provisions.]


An Act to provide for the registration of societies and for other related matters.

[1st June, 1954]

Ords. Nos.
11 of 1954
[R.L. Cap. 337]
22 of 1957
Acts Nos.
76 of 1962
54 of 1963
51 of 1964
45 of 1965
16 of 1969
6 of 1971
13 of 1991
5 of 1992
G.Ns Nos.
236 of 1961
478 of 1962

1.   Short title

   This Act may be cited as the Societies Act.

2.   Interpretation Ord. No. 22 of 1957 s. 2; Acts Nos. 76 of 1962 s. 2; 51 of 1964; 45 of 1965; 6 of 1971 s. 6; 5 of 1992 s. 19">

   (1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires–

   "declared objects" in relation to any society means the objects declared by such society at the time in the application for registration or subsequent variation of its objects made pursuant to rules made under this Act;

   "exempted society" means any society exempted from registration under this Act;

   "local society" means any society formed or established in Tanzania or having its headquarters or chief place of business in Tanzania and includes any society deemed to be established in Tanzania by virtue of section 7;

   "member" in relation to a society includes an office-bearer of such society;

   "Minister" means the Minister responsible for matters relating to societies;

   "office-bearer", in relation to a society, means any person who is the president or vice-president or chairman or deputy chairman or secretary or treasurer of such society, or who is a member of the governing committee or the governing or executive body thereof, or who holds in such society any office or position analogous to any of those mentioned above;

   "place" includes a vessel and a vehicle;

   "Registrar" means the officer appointed as Registrar of Societies and includes any officer appointed as Deputy Registrar of Societies or Assistant Registrar of Societies under section 5;

   "registered society" means any society for the time being registered under this Act;

   "society" includes any club, company, partnership or association of ten or more persons whatever its nature or object but does not include–

   (a)   a company registered under the Companies Act, or any company which has complied with the requirements of section 321 of that Act *;

   (b)   any company, council, authority, association, board or committee lawfully constituted or established under Royal Charter, or Royal Letters Patent, or any Applied Act, or any law for the time being in force in Tanzania;

   (c)   any Lodge of Freemasons regularly constituted under any of the registered governing bodies of Freemasons in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland;

   (d)   any trade union registered under the Trade Unions Act *;

   (e)   any company, association or partnership consisting of not more than twenty persons, formed and maintained for the sole purpose of carrying on any lawful business;

   (f)   any co-operative society registered under the Co-operative Societies Act * or any ranching association registered under the Range Development and Management Act *, or any agricultural association registered under the Agricultural Associations Act;

   (g)   any society which the President may, by order published in the Gazette, declare not to be a society for the purposes of this Act;

   (h)   a political party registrable under the Political Parties Act *;

   (i)   any society which has been registered as a sports association under the provisions of the National Sports Council of Tanzania Act *, or in respect of which a certificate of exemption from registration under that Act has been issued;

   (j)   any society which, in the opinion of the Registrar, is or in respect of which the Minister for the time being responsible for legal affairs has, under section 3, given a decision that it is a sports association within the meaning assigned to that term by the National Sports Council of Tanzania Act;

   "unlawful society" means–

   (a)   any society declared or deemed to have been declared to be unlawful under section 8; and

   (b)   any local society other than–

      (i)   a registered society; or

      (ii)   an exempted society; or

      (iii)   a local society in respect of which an application for registration has been lawfully made under section 12 or section 16 and remains undetermined or in respect of which an appeal has been lawfully made to the Minister under section 19 and remains undetermined.

   (2) Every branch of a society shall be deemed to be a society if such branch consists of ten or more members.

   (3) Where any body of persons, whether corporate or unincorporate, is a member of a society every member of such body shall be deemed to be a member of such society.

3.   Determination of whether a society is a sports association Act No. 6 of 1971 s. 6">

   Where any question arises as to whether any society is a sports association within the meaning assigned to that term by the National Sports Council of Tanzania Act, the matter shall be referred to the Minister for the time being responsible for legal affairs, who shall decide the question in consultation with the Attorney-General, and such decision shall be final and shall not be subject to review by any court.

[s. 2A]

4.   Sports associations to cease to be registered societies Act No. 6 of 1971 s. 6">

   Every sports association registered as a society under this Act shall cease to be so registered with effect from–

   (a)   the date on which the Registrar, by a notice in writing, notifies the association that its registration under the Societies Act has been cancelled by reason of its being a sports association; or

   (b)   the first day of October, 1971,

whichever date first occurs.

[s. 2B]

5.   Appointment of Registrars Ord. No. 22 of 1957 s. 3">

   (1) The President may appoint a Registrar of Societies and such number of Deputy Registrars of Societies and Assistant Registrars of Societies as he may consider necessary for the purposes of this Act.

   (2) The President may from time to time give general or special directions to the Registrar as to the performance of his duties and the exercise of his powers and the Registrar shall comply with any general or special directions so given.

[s. 3]

6.   Protection of public officers

   No suit shall lie against any public officer for anything done or omitted to be done by him in good faith without negligence and in the intended exercise of any power or performance of any duty conferred or imposed on him by this Act.

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