Suing daladala driver

Question: Can I sue a driver of a daladala (a commuter bus) who causes an accident on salender bridge and because of his negligence thousands of people are blocked in traffic and get late to work which costs the country billions of shillings worth of time. If I was the President of Tanzania I would allow such a claim against the daladala driver and his owner. Does our law allow that? FE, Dar

AnswerUnder the rule of negligence and law of tort, there are a few questions you must ask yourself. Does the daladala driver owe you a duty of care? If he does, then the next question is was he in breach of that duty? If he was in breach, and it caused you damages, then you can recover from him. 

When the daladala driver causes an accident, he does not do so intentionally. It is an accident just like any other accident. He does owe a duty to the person he has hit, but does that duty extend to you who has not suffered any physical damage? The answer is in the negative. Generally in the law of tort, you can only extend him having a duty to you if you were injured. You can claim that it was an economic injury to you but such economic loss is far too remote and it would lead to absurdity and opening of the floodgates. If Judges accepted such cases, the poor daladala driver would have to compensate billions of shillings to all those affected; both public policy and fairness principles would be defied if that were the case. 

In the upshot and very unfortunately so, you have no claim against the daladala driver. We are not aware of any jurisdictions that would allow your suggestion. When you become President, you might want to consider enacting a special law on this; however at present the law does not support your thoughts.
Source: FB Attorneys, www.fbattorneys.com, Dar es Salaam.
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