Protection of succession rights of the unborn child under customary law in Tanzania


  • Paul Robert Sayi


Succession rights; customary law; Unborn Child; Nasciturus.


Succession rights of the foetus in the mother’s womb conceived before the death of his father and born after the death of his father is a contentious matter in the contemporary law of succession and property law. Often individuals tend to ensure that their children are protected and catered for in their Last Will and Testaments. But what is the position when it comes to unborn children? Are they qualified to inherit? What is the position when there is no Last Will and Testament? In Tanzania, the position is not clearly and expressly provided in the customary law of succession. This study is centred on examining the customary law and succession rights accorded to unborn child in Tanzania. In this regard, the author finds that customary succession law applicable in Tanzania Mainland does not expressly recognize and or guarantee succession right of the foetus in the mother’s womb until is completely proceeded in a living state. The study recommends that if a person dies while his wife is pregnant, the distribution of estate should be postponed, if possible, till childbirth; otherwise, a share will be withheld for the child under the nominated guardian

Author Biography

Paul Robert Sayi

The Open University of Tanzania