Professor Emeritus Gamaliel Mgongo Fimbo

Gamaliel Mgongo Fimbo is a Professor of Law at the Department of Economic Law. He has stayed with the School of Law for nearly 50 years now. Almost all members of the academic staff have passed under his training. Professor Fimbo is the second oldest member of School. The entire educational life of Professor Fimbo cannot be separated from the life of the School itself. Professor Fimbo, together with Professor Josephat Kanywanyi (the oldest member of staff) have remained an icon of the School.

Professor Fimbo joined the School (when it was still the University of East Africa, University College, Dar es Salaam) in 1967. At that time the School had only seven years of existence. Professor Fimbo obtained his Bachelor of Laws degree in 1969 from University of East Africa, University College, Dar es Salaam. In 1971, he received his Master of Laws degree from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. In 1990, Professor Fimbo received his PhD from University of Dar es Salaam.

Professor Fimbo has had solid years of active service within the School and University. For example, he was the chairperson of the Legal Aid Committee of University of Dar es Salaam from 1974-1979. From 1979-1982, he was the Dean of the Faculty of Law. The highest mark of Professor Fimbo’s service with the University was between 1982-1987 when he served as Chief Administrative Officer, University of Dar es Salaam. This position is equivalent to the current post of Deputy Vice Chancellor-Administration.

Outside the University, Professor Fimbo’s service had been splendid! He was a Part-time Commissioner of the Law Reform Commission of Tanzania from 1989-1990. From 1983-1990, Professor Fimbo was the Chairperson of the Tanzania Legal Corporation (TLC) Board of Directors. Before serving on TLC Board, he served as its manager from 1978-1983. Of recent, and for nearly ten years, Professor Fimbo served as a Chairperson of Tanzania Insurance Regulatory Authority (TIRA) Board of Directors from 2004-2013.He has also been a member of Independent Challenge Appeal Panel, the Millennium Challenge Account, Tanzania (MCA-T), 10th June 2009 - 2013.

Professor Fimbo is a Founder Member of Tanzania Institute of Arbitrators (TIArb). The Institute, established in 1996, has proved an essential pillar for the administration of justice in Tanzania through alternative dispute resolutions. Professor has also been an external examiner to various academic institutions include the University of Nairobi and the University of Zambia.

Within the legal profession, Professor Fimbo’s contribution is ubiquitous. First, he is an advocate of the High Court of Tanzania, Notary Public and Commissioner for Oaths. Consequently, he has been a member of Tanganyika Law Society and the East Africa Law Society; Bar Associations for Tanzania mainland and East African countries respectively. Arguably the most accomplished legal scholar in the country, his contributions have gone beyond the roles and duties of advocates in the courts of law. Time and again, the Tanzania courts have invited Professor Fimbo as its amicus curie. Some of the famous cases which Professor Fimbo appeared as such include:

  • THE DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS v. DAUDI PETE, Criminal Appeal No. 28 of 1990, Court of Appeal of Tanzania at Dar es Salaam, Full Bench of the Court, [1993] TLR 22;
  • ABUALY ALIBHAI AZIZ v. BHATIA BROTHERS LTD, Misc. Civil Appeal No. 1 of 1999 and in the Matter of Conflict of Decisions in Court of Appeal in Civil Appeal No. 18 of 1988 and in Civil Appeal No. 19 of 1995 and in the Matter of the Full Bench of the Court, judgment delivered on 18 June 1999, [2000] TLR 288;
  • CHIRIKO HARUNI DAVID v. KANGI ALPHAXARD LUGORA AND TWO OTHERS, Civil Appeal No. 36 of 2012; Full Bench of the Court; Judgment was delivered on 31 May 2013;
  • THE ATTORNEY GENERAL v. JEREMIAH MTOBESYA, Civil Appeal No. 65 of 2016; Full Bench of the Court; Judgment was delivered on 5th February 2018.

Professor Fimbo is a renowned legal scholar specialising in Land Law, Conveyancing, Succession and Trusts, Constitutional Law, Legal History and Civil Procedure. He may be contacted at;


Below are some of the notable publications from Professor Fimbo;


  • Essays in Land Law, Tanzania, Dar es Salaam University Press, Dar es Salaam, 1992.
  • Customary Land Law of Tanzania, A Source Book (with R. W. James), East Africa Literature Bureau, Nairobi,1973.
  • Constitution Making and Courts in Tanzania, Dar es Salaam University Press, Dar es Salaam, 1992.
  • The Land Law of Tanzania, A Case Book, Lawafrica, 2013.                                             Multipartyism, Constitutions and the Law in Africa, Lawafrica, 2013.
  • Administration of Justice in Tanzania (with I. R. Mandi and E. Longopa), Lawafrica, 2013.                                
  • Tuijadili KatibaYetu, Katiba ya Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania ya Mwaka 1977 DUP, Dar es Salaam, 2007.

Chapters in Books

  • “Land, Socialism and the Law in Tanzania”, Chap. 8 in Ruhumbika, G., (Ed.) (1974) Towards Ujamaa, Twenty Years of TANU Leadership, East African Literature Bureau, Nairobi, p. 230 – 274.
  • “Financing Workers Housing in Tanzania: The Tanzania Housing Bank” Chap. 9 in McAuslan, JPWB., and Kanyeihamba, G., (Eds) (1978) Urban Legal Problems in East Africa, Studies on Law in Social Change, Monograph No. 2, Scandinavian Institute of African Studies, Uppsala, and International Centre for Law in Development, New York, 1978, p. 184 – 207.
  • “Informal Urban Land Transactions – Adaptation or Regularization?” (1997) Urban land Management and the Transition to a Market Economy in Tanzania, SPRING, Studies on Regional Development Planning and Management in Developing Countries, Spring Research Series No. 19, SPRING Center, University of Dortmund, FRG 1997 p. 75-80.
  • “Governance Issues in Student Crises” in Mbwette, T.S.A & A. G. M. Ishumi (Ed.) (2000) Managing University Crises, DUP (1996) Ltd, Dar es Salaam, Chap 15, p. 214 – 223.
  • “Challenges Facing Legal Education in Tanzania: Faculty of Law Perspectives in Mvungi, S. E.A. (Ed.) (2002), Forty Years of the Faculty of Law, University of Dar es Salaam, 1961-2001, Faculty of Law, University of Dar es Salaam, p. 94 -109.
  • “Electoral Laws and Procedures in Tanzania: Continuity in Change,” in Binchy, W., and C. Finnegan (Ed) (2006), Human Rights, Constitutionalism and the Judiciary: Tanzanian and Irish Perspectives, Clarus Press, Dublin, p. 171 – 188.
  • Katiba ya Muungano na Uboreshaji wake katika Miongo Mitatu,” REDET (Ed)(2007) Muungano wa Tanazania, Mafanikio, Matatizo Yake na Jinsi ya Kuuimarisha, University of Dar es Salaam, SurayaNne, p. 47-73.
  • “Fifty Years of Legal Education in Tanzania: Development of the LL.B. Curriculum, in Fimbo, G. M. (Ed.) (2011), Fifty Years of Legal Education in Tanzania, 2011, Printed by Martisayi Investments Company Limited, Dar es Salaam, p. 1- 42.
  • “Principles and Practices of Management Inthe East African Community; Best Practices for a Modern Judiciary,” in Doveling, J., K. Gaston and U. Wanitzek (Eds) (2013) Constitutional Reform Processes and Integration in East Africa, DUP, Dar es Salaam, p. 65-87.
  • “The National Electoral Commission of Tanzania in Support of Constitutional Democracy: A Comment, in Doveling, J., K. Gaston and U. Wanitzek (Eds) (2013) Constitutional Reform Processes and Integration in East Africa, DUP, Dar es Salaam, p. 105-115.
  • “Human Rights Perspectives Regarding the Institution of Criminal Proceedings in Subordinate Courts in Tanzania,” inKanwanyi, J. L., U. Wanitzek, A. NAHAYO AND J. Doveling (Eds) (2014), Regional Integration and Law, East African and European Perspectives, DUP, Dar es Salaam, p. 99-119.
  • “In Search of Thematic Unity in Land Law: Tenure Security,” in Kameri-Mbote, P and C. Odote (Eds.) The Gallant Academic, Essays in Honour of H W O Okoth-Ogendo, School of Law, University of Nairobi, 2017, Chapter7, p. 57 – 78.

Journal Articles

  • Land, Socialism and the Law in Tanzania, East Africa Law Review, Vol. 6 No. 3, p. 215-263, 1973.
  • The Right of Occupancy in Tanzania: The Political Economy of an African Land Tenure System; East Africa Law Review, Vol. 7 No. 2, p. 121-156, 1974
  • Towards Separation of Powers in a New Democracy: Tanzania, The African Review, Vol. 22 No. 1 and 2 Combined, p. 16-32, 1995
  • Customary Tenure in the Court of Appeal of Tanzania, East Africa Law Review, Vol. 31-34, p. 16-39, December 2004.

Research/Consultancy Reports

  • Feasibility study of HV Power Transmission SINGIDA-ARUSHA, Legal Rights of landowners along the proposed line, submitted to COWICONSULT, Consulting Engineers Planners of Dar es Salaam on 15th April 1992.
  • Consulting Services for the Tanzania Housing Bank submitted to M/s Price Waterhouse of Dar es Salaam on 26 June 1993.
  • Separation of Powers and Democratisation in Tanzania: Child’s Leaps or Adult’s Steps?” (1994) research report submitted to the Policy and Development Research Centre (PDRC) Dar es Salaam on 17th November 1994.
  • Report of Short Term Consultancy on Electoral Law and Procedures in Tanzania” (with R. N. Ben Lobulu and J. I. May) (1995) Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Dar es Salaam on 3rd April 1995.
  • Post Primary Education Institutions in Tanzania; Diversity and State Dominance Through the Law”, (1995) Short-term Consultancy report submitted to the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education, Dar es Salaam and the World Bank, 19th September 1995.
  • Legal Aspects of Multi-Unit Ownership, short-term consultancy report: USAID Assistance to the National Housing Corporation, Initiative C4: Clarify Legal Implications of Converting Multi-Unit Properties to Tenant Ownership, submitted to the Planning and Development Collaborative International (PADCO INC.) Washington, 30th October 1995.
  • Agreement for the Management and Regulation of Multistorey Building on Plot Nos. 2386/12 2387/12, 2388/12 and 2389/12 Azikiwe Street, Central Area Dar es Salaam City’, prepared for the CRDB (1996) Ltd, 21 August 1998.
  • In the ICC Court of Arbitration, Arbitration No. 100058/AC/DB Between China Sinchuan Corporation for International Techno-Economic Co-operation (“SIETCO”) and Tanzania Electric Supply Company Limited (“TANESCO”), Final Report of the Expert appointed by TANESCO, 31st May 1999.
  • Compulsory Acquisition of Land; Drive-In Cinema Plot, block 42 Old Bagamoyo Road, Msasani Area, City Dar es Salaam (SISI ENTERPRISES LIMITED) submitted to the Embassy of the United States of America (USA), 5th August 1999.
  • Land Law Reforms in Tanzania, submitted to the USAID Mission to Tanzania, January 2003.
  • A Bill for the Town and Country Planning Act 2003, with Z. S. Gondwe, A. S. Kauzeni, R. Makaramba and T. Nkya (2003) Consultancy prepared for the Ministry of Lands and Human Settlements Development, 97 sections and Four Schedules, May 2003.
  • State and Property Rights in Tanzania (2005), submitted to ILD, PERU, August 2005.
  • Review of the Legal and Regulatory Framework for Political Parties and Functions of the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties, (with ATHUMANI J. LIVIGA& CLETUS AVOKA) (2008) submitted to UNDP and the Registrar of Political Parties, Dar es Salaam, February 2008.
  • Team Leader, Consultancy under the Legal Consultancy, Research and Publications Committee for the Preparation of Regulations under the Urban Planning Act No. 8 of 2007; Client: Ministry of Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development; Final report and 15 sets of Regulations submitted in February 2013.

Public Lectures

  • “Africa: The Multiparty Debate,” Institute of Social Studies, (ISS), The Hague, The Netherlands, December 1993, published as ISS Working Paper Series No. 175, June 1994.
  • “In Search of Thematic Unity in Land Law: Tenure Security,” OkothOgendo Distinguished Lecturer, 13th June 2014, the School of Law, University of Nairobi.

Awards and Honours

  • Commonwealth Academic Staff Scholarship tenable at the University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) 1970-1971.
  • Fulbright Senior Research Scholarship, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, USA April-August 1982.
  • Research Fellow, Institute of Social Studies, (ISS) The Hague, The Netherlands June-December 1993.
  • Commonwealth Academic Staff Fellowship tenable at the University of Warwick, Coventry, UK., June 1996.
  • Letter of Commendation for Excellent Performance and Public Service, University of Dar es Salaam, 1983.
  • Token of Appreciation for Distinguished Service to the Tanganyika Law Society 1994.
  • MwalimuNyerere Chair in Pan-African Studies, University of Dar es Salaam, Award In appreciation of excellent intellectual contribution as a discussant of the state-of-the-art paper: The Agrarian Question in Tanzania, 18/01/2010.
  • The First Research Winner for the University of Dar es Salaam School of Law, 2016.

Chairperson, PhD Examination (Viva Voce)

Prof Fimbo has chaired several Viva Voce PhD examinations at the School of Law. Below are some of them;

  • HOSEA, EDWARD GAMAYA, Grappling with the Epitome of Corruption in Tanzania: The Case for Circumstantial Evidence, 16.11.2007;
  • MWAIPOPO, RITA ALICE, Ms., Intellectual Property Rights and the Regulation of Access to Genetic Resources and Benefits Sharing in Mainland Tanzania, 6.11.2008;
  • FELESHI, ELIEZER MBUKI, Contribution of Criminal Intelligence in the War Against Crime in Tanzania Mainland, 20.7.2011;
  • LUKUMAY, ZAKAYO NDOBIR, An Analysis of the Legal Basis for Electronic Banking in Tanzania, 13.10.2011;
  • MWAKAJE, JACOB SAUDIN, Regulatory Framework of Intellectual Property Products, 17.5.2012;
  • KAMUGISHA, GRACE KAZOBA, Ms., Legal and Institutional Framework for Combating the Prevalence of Counterfeit and Substandard Pharmaceuticals in Tanzania, 2.7.2012;
  • LEVIRA, MARY CAROLINE, Ms., Criminal Sanctions Efficacy in Environmental Management in Mainland Tanzania: The Case of Wildlife Resources, 5.10.2012.
  • NGENDAHIMANA, Jean-Bosco, The Impact of Regional Integration on Human Rights Protection in Africa, 24.6.2013.
  • KILANGI, AdelardusLubango, The Principle of Permanent Sovereignty over Natural Resources: Its Application in Regulating the Mineral Sector in Tanzania, 5.11.2013.
  • MHINA, Mkombozi Vincent, Transnational Investment, Environmental Degradation and Human Rights: A Cross-national Case Study Based on Petroleum and Mineral Industries in Selected Developing Countries, 28.2.2014.
  • KANYABUHINYA, Baraka Francisco, Examination of Legal Challenges in Addressing Counterfeit Goods in Tanzania Mainland: the Right of Consumers to Redress, 20.10.2014.
  • JESSE, James, Elisa Mchome, An Inquiry into the Right to Freedom of Expression for Promotion of Good Governance in Tanzania, 29.10.2015.
  • HAMAD, Yahya Khamis, Jurisprudential Approaches in Enforcing Human Rights in Tanzania, 13.11.2015.
  • LUAMBANO, Tasco Romanus, “East African Court of Justice and Human Rights Protection: Challenges and Opportunities,” 3.6.2016.


Professor Fimbo has supervised several undergraduate and postgraduate students. Below is the list of his current supervision.

  • ZEIJA, Flavian (Mr.)Corporate Governance in Uganda: The Role of Directors and Secretaries, 2013.
  • BAKARI, George, Legal and Institutional Framework of Regional Integration and Human Rights in the East African Community, 21.1.2015.
  • MAMBI, Adam, Legal Implications of Information and Communication Technology to Privacy and Freedom of Information in Tanzania Mainland and Kenya, 4.5.2015.
  • Temba, Ferdinand Marcel, Assessment of Legal and Practical Challenges in the Realisation of the Right to Health in Tanzania, 21.1.2018.
  • MNYASENGA, Thobias Raphael, Administrative Legal Framework of Central Local Government Relationship and its Implications on the Autonomy of Local Government Authorities in Mainland Tanzania, Mzumbe University, 16thOctober, 2017.
  • KIMWAGA, Juliana – Reg. No. 2017-07-00115; “A Study on Environment and the Role of Indigenous Peoples in Tanzania.”
  • OKUMU, Maurice Jumah – Reg. No. 2016-07-00151; “Legal and Administrative Challenges of Public Participation in Kenyan County Government Budget Making Process: A Case Study of Kisumu and Siaya Counties.”
  • KINUNDA, Aron - Reg. No. 2016-07-00147; “Certification of Village Land in Tanzania: Examination of the Protection of Land Rights of the Indigenous People.”
  • MWASHIUYA, Elias Tenson – Reg. No. 2014-07-00007; “Examining the Impact of Competition Rules on the Tanzanian Realty Market.”
  • OBA, Issa Babatunde- Reg. No. 2013-07-00162; “An Investigation of Application of Islamic Jurisprudence on Marriage in Kadhi’s Courts in Zanzibar and Kwara State of Nigeria.”
  • ISMAILI, Hamza – Reg. No. 2011-07-00132; “Constitutional and Human Rights Dimensions of Real Property Taxation in Tanzania, the PhD Thesis is under examination
  • MWIHAMBI, Nenelwa Joyce – Reg. No. 2010-07-00130; Legislative Representation and the Parliamentary System in the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania.”
  • MSHANA, Ebenezer Stafford – Reg. No. 2009-07-00067; In Search of Tenure Security: Landownership under Customary Law in Tanzania and Uganda