African Court orders Tanzania to pay rights activist $99,000 over deportation

Friday December 03 2021

Tanzanian ordered to pay a former NGO director $99,500 for illegally expelling him from the country in 2014. PHOTO | FILE | NMG


The African Court on Human and Peoples Rights on Thursday ordered the Tanzanian government to pay a former NGO director $99,500 for illegally expelling him from the country in 2014.

The court, sitting in Dar es Salaam, awarded Anudo Ochieng Anudo $63,500 as compensation for salary income lost.

He was also awarded $5,640 as damages for material prejudice caused by the loss of his sawmill business in Tanzania and damage to two vehicles and one motorcycle that he owned before being deported in September 2014. 

The court also awarded him $30,380 for moral prejudice suffered by himself and his family members—his parents and four children—as indirect victims of the deportation order, which the court said was illegal.

Mr Anudo was the director of Tanzania Human for People Rights.

Mr Anudo complained that though he and his parents were Tanzanian citizens by birth, he was illegally expelled from the country and his passport confiscated when he refused to pay immigration officers “an amount of money they asked for.”


According to a court summary, he was deported to Kenya but was thereafter declared as “being in an illegal situation by the High Court of Kenya”.

Since then, he had been “hiding” in an area at the border of Tanzania and Kenya.

Judge Ben Kioko said Anudo's loss of employment and income were a “direct result of the violation of his rights.” The Judge, however, declined the applicant's request for further compensation due to loss of income from a secondary school he owned and ran in Tanzania, and two houses under construction that he had to abandon.

Mr Anudo had “failed to provide an estimate of income generated from the school and proof of such income”, the judge said.

In his original May 2015 application, Mr Anudo said his deportation had “violated his right to Tanzanian nationality as well as a number of other fundamental rights.”

Lawyers representing Tanzania rejected Mr Anudo's allegation of corruption by immigration authorities and maintained that he was not a citizen of the country.

They said the Tanzanian passport he had, which was issued in November 2006, had been “applied for with forged supporting documents.”

In an earlier (March 2018) ruling on the Anudo case, the same court said Tanzania had violated clauses of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) in the way it handled Anudo.

In November 2020, Tanzania, through its Foreign Affairs ministry, announced its withdrawal from the court in protest against a clause in its regulations which allows individuals and NGOs to sue the government.

But the ministry has since insisted that while the government rejected the specific clause, it remains an official member of the court and will continue to adhere to other provisions of the protocol establishing it.

The court further ordered the Tanzanian government to “take all the necessary steps to restore the applicant's rights” by allowing him to return to the country, ensuring his protection and submitting periodical reports on the pace of implementing the ruling in full until everything is done.