The Primary Courts are established under the Magistrates Courts Act, 1985. There is supposed to be a Primary Court in each district. However, the chief justice is by law allowed to establish more than one Primary Court in each district.
In its criminal jurisdiction, a Primary Court can impose a custodial sentence not exceeding one year or a fine not exceeding TZS. 2,000 or corporal punishment; or a combination of all these sentences. In civil matters, a Primary Court has jurisdiction to hear cases in which in the case of movable property the value of the subject matter does not exceed TZS. 1,000,000/= and in the case of immovable property the value of the subject matter does not exceed TZS. 5,000,000/=.
Advocates and state attorneys are prohibited to appear in the Primary Court. However, Wakyls are permitted to appear before primary court magistrates.