A) and kinsman leadership. In relations to the concept


A) Theoretical framework
guiding village structure and governance

Tanzania’s government system is made up two
main structures. These are the central and local

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government. The local government system was designed according to the British model
of local government It is a centralized system of local government with limited
decision making and financial autonomy. The structure of local governance in Tanzania
has a long history, dated back to ancient times when we had kingship and
kinsman leadership. In relations to the concept of governance I categorize the
local governance into pre-colonial era and post-colonial era in Tanzania.  During the ancient time, the system of
governance was highly centralized, that was from village or households to the
kings.  Kings has village representative
in forms of chief and cell leaders, whom collected taxes and rule on those
areas on behalf of the king or chief.

during pre-colonial period, when the colonizer arrived in then Tanganyika, they
found these systems of governance in place. And they had to de-structure the
system to impose their own system of governance. For instance, the Germany
colonial masters in the coastal areas and at the grassroots level the put in
place the so-called akidas”.  Below them were “jumbes”. According to Kimambo (1969) the offices of the Akida and Jumbe were found in the coastal regions where the sultan of
Zanzibar had employed them in his administrative structures too.  These Jumbes
were essentially village headmen who were hereditary and unpaid, who received
compensation from tribute and services rendered by their constituencies. But
they main role was to ensure the smooth ruling of the colonial master over
whole of their constituencies. And cement  their position to the
colonial structure of governance by their efficient execution of the colonial
interests over the local village population.

the post-colonial period, immediately after independence the government
inherited the pre-colonial structure of governance, while not abolishing the
inherited local government structure, initiated many changes which had the
effect of integrating it thoroughly in government and ruling party structures
and processes. According to Kamugisha (1979) the post-colonial constitution did
not pre-scribed the local governments as territorial areas separate from the
district. The organizational structure placed local governments below district
administration.  The moved cemented the
local government, central government and the ruling party to work as a single
system but with asymmetrical power relations, with the party on top followed by
the central government and lastly local government. The local authority act was
amendment in 1962 to omit the section which gave power to native authority of ”
Akida” and “Jumbe” as it was it was in the pre-colonial system of governance.
For that amendment, the chief and kings were effectively abolished and were
replaced by village committee system of governance. The creation of a committee system was to
provide the necessary avenues for participation and to enable the local
leadership to translate the people’s enthusiasm into solid achievement.  Development committees were set up from the
village to the regional level to spearhead and coordinate local development
activities as well as to create avenues for local participation in decision
making process.

1972 Local Governments were abolished, to be replaced by Decentralized
Administration which consisted of wide ward development committee. But these
ward development committee failed to have a majority participation in decision
making process and the goal for replacement of the village committee was never
achieve, as there was no popular participation for decision making on issues
which had interest to most of the citizen. Then President Nyerere decided to
re-instate back the local government and giving power to the people again, in
1982 the legislative body passed the law which established the local government.
The authority came into effect in January 1984 as prescribed under the Local
Government (District Authorities) Act No. 7 of 1982, and the Local Authorities
(Urban Authorities) Act No. 8 of 1978. 
Act No. 7 of 1982. And the minister responsible for the local government
has been given authority to recognize the village authority and township even
if they do not meet the minimum prescribed criteria in the subject act.

principal objective of re-instating the local government ” which village
government fall in” as prescribed in the constitution of united republic of
Tanzania was ” consolidating and giving back power to the people” who shall be
entitled and competent to participate, and to allow peoples involvement in
planning and implementation their development agenda in their respective
communities URT(1977).The local government is responsible to enhancing
democracy at local level through involving people in planning and implementation
of development programs in their particular localities. The goal which the
former structure of governance failed to achieve.  Despite the re-instatement of the local
governance but there lie challenges on accountability, popular participation on
decision making and concept of good governance on lower level of street” mtaa”
or village “Kijiji”.

this paper will analyze the concept of governance at Kijitonyama mpakani ward,
Sinza mori street on how the formulation of the existing governance structures
helps or hinders the issues of accountability to the street leaders and the
popular participation on decision making process and implementation of
development agendas. And the power demarcation between the local government and
the central government as prescribe in the URT (1977) and how it impacts the
good governance at the lower level of governance.




The Tanzanian Local
Government system is founded based on political devolution and decentralization

responsibilities, powers and resources from central government to local
government and from

higher levels of local
government to lower levels of local government and overall empower the people

have ultimate control over
their welfare as shown in URT (revised 2005). The Founding provision of the
Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania recognize local government as
autonomous bodies with legal status operating with discretionary powers over
local affairs within the unitary system of the Republic of Tanzania. The
Tanzania local government system is designed to enhance democracy and justice
to the lower level.

There are various theories
and concept which led to the formation of local government “local authority”.
But the two-popular concept of political devolution and decentralization can be
viewed as;

Political devolution is creation or the financial
or legal strengthening of sub national units of government concerned with
activities which are substantially outside the direct control of the central
government. Under devolution, local units of government are autonomous and
independent, and their legal status makes them separate or distinct from the
central government.  And decentralization
means delegating some of the functional authority and power by the central
government to the lower government. And the local authority can determine their
own local affairs without the interference of the central authority.

There are various school of
thought that guide the establishment of local government “local authority”.
Some of these theories are; the democratic participatory theory, efficiency
service theory and development theory.

The democratic participatory theory, theorize that the principal
function of local government is to enhance democracy through wider
participation of citizen in their political process. That is people have wide
room to choose their leaders and get elect into power, and through democratic
participation they can discuss and determine their own affairs. So, the local
government “local authority is formed due to the need of democratic participation,
like in Tanzania when then president Nyerere decided to re-instate back the
local government due to the existing structure lack of wide participation by
the majority into the democratic process of governance.

The second theory of
efficiency service this urge that, the principal objective of the local
government is not enhancing the democracy rather it is to bring the social
service to the community in a more efficient way as measured by central
government. And the service should align with national objectives. For instance,
in Tanzania they formed the village development committee to spear head the
development process in the lower level, and these committee were responsible to
mobile resources and labour in building the school and hospital in their
respective areas. And ensuring there is proper provision of services to the
residing citizen of their respective areas.

The third theory of decentralization by devolution, this differs from
the two theories by emphasizing on how the establishment of local government in
the developing world can stimulate and foster the better standard of living,
social service, economic empowerment and better share of national cake to
country citizen. As the central government leave some of financial resources to
be controlled by the local government and the revenue collected is used for
development purpose in the respective areas. For instance, in Tanzania areas
where there are ongoing mining activities the local government they are
entitled to 10 % of the collected revenue from extracted minerals. And these
moneys can be used into various development activities, such as building health
centres, schools or road constructions. In Musoma municipal council, the money
was used to cover the education cost for both primary level and secondary level,
hence they had free education to all program.

But when you come to the
conceptualization of governance is slightly wide and confusing depending on the
literature and scholar perspective on governance. According to J. Pierre (2000)
who argues that “on one hand it refers to the empirical manifestations of
state adaptation to its external environment and forces as it emerges in the late
twentieth century and on the other hand, governance denotes a conceptual or theoretical
representation of co-ordination of social systems and, for the most part, the role
of the state in that process. It gives the framework for central government
role in steering the coordination of the social system in bringing the social
services and development to its people.

Generally, governance is the institutional capacity of public organizations
to provide public and other goods demanded by a country’s citizens or the
representatives thereof in an effective, transparent, impartial, and
accountable manner, subject to resource constraints. The concept of governance
is most found in the international organization such as UNDP, IMF and World
Bank etc key area of interest to developing countries. Which through good
governance initiatives try to support reforms and increase the capacity of developing
countries government promoting and strengthening participation of civil society
and citizen in governing process.

B) Governance
Structure at village/street level

The governance structure at
village level is prescribed in local government establishment act no 7 and 8 of
1982 section 14 (1) -(5) and 22 (1) -(3) respectively. The street/village
government is functioning under the street/village assembly which is attended
by all street/village resident who are 18 yrs and above. The village assembly
has constitutional mandate, to formulate and approve by laws and policies for
development of their respective streets and villages.

The village assembly is
assembled and works under the elected street/village chairperson, who is
elected in the street/village general election which is conducted once after
every 5 years. The chairperson is administrative assisted by village/ Street
Executive Officer(VEO/MEO) in terms of planning and executing the approved
policies.  The village/ street assembly
works through the system of committee, in which each committee consist of 9
members. And each formed committee is assigned with a specific issue to deals
with throughout its tenure of existence. The issues range from education,
security, water and sanitation etc.  The
aim of the street/ village assembly is to promote and enhance citizen
participation in the governance process and to have control of their affairs.
The same structure of village leadership has been set up at our sinza mori

But there is a challenge in
the function of the street government, because of the overlapping authority
between the chairperson and street executive officer. The former is elected by
citizen as their representative and serve the people’s interest, but the latter
is the employee of the government and his specifically there to serve the
interest of the government. And has been entitled with a mandate to suspend the
elected leadership, if there is any stand of between the government and the
local authority. Even though the village government are indirect responsible at
implementing the central government policies at the grass root level. Such as
different government household levies are collected by street committee on the
behalf of the government. Sometimes through the 10 cell representatives, for
instance when the RC for Dar es salaam initiated the security measure to have
the background check for the resident of DSM. This was implemented through the
street authority, each chairperson had to collected the information patterning
their resident works, age, and properties and submit the same to government

Therefore, the current
structure of giving the administrative capacity to street executive is
diminishing the authority from the people and handling it over back to the
central government. And this limits the capacity of street government to
function as a separate institution from the central government.




C) Citizens
participation in decision making

Trewatha& Newport (2001) cited in Nardini (2004)
defined decision making process as a practice involving the selection of a
course of action from among two or more possible alternatives to arrive at a
solution for a given problem. Problems and both social and economic needs are there
at lower level, and for it to be effectively tackled they need wide
participation of the citizen through the decision-making process.

Citizen participates in decision making in village
level through the existing organ of governance, there are two major organ of
governance which are the village assembly (VA) and Village Council (VC). All
adult members reside in that village are the members of the VA. The village
assembly is headed by the elected chairperson who leads the village Councils of
not less than 15 and not more than 25 members.

In the village assembly people formulates their local
policies and by law, and through their elected representative. But still there
is a challenge in popular participation due to lack of awareness and the
village leadership failure to held the village assembly. And the existence of village
executive officer to have an administrative mandate which overlap with the
mandate of the elected leaders.


 D) Mechanisms are available and applied to
hold leaders into account

Accountability has been
defined to include pro-active behaviour like information, justification,
evaluation of performance in addition to rule following, the calling to account
before during and after decision are made and the application of sanctions
(both positive and negative). There is various mechanism to hold the leaders
accountable at the village level, among of the mechanism is; resolution of removing
the village chairperson from the post which is supported by 2/3 of members
attended by the village assembly.

Furthermore, Section 61 (2)
of the local government act, also provides for other oversight mechanisms by
stating that any village council members who absents himself from three consecutive
ordinary meetings of the Village Council or of a Committee meeting of which he
is a member he shall by such absence be disqualified from continuing to be a
member of the village council of that committee.

These mechanisms enhance
the accountability to the village leaders, while there is a relatively
clear system of accountability in the village government, the performance of accountability mechanisms remains a challenge and does not yield a
positive outcome. There are various factors which makes the implementation of
mechanism to remain a problematic. These include the lack of awareness by the
people on the available mechanism to hold their leaders accountable. Another factor
is poor access of information, lack of transparency, poor participation of
citizen on decision making process also contributes to poor implementation on
holding the leaders accountable.


E) Village
Assembly as village Bunge, how effective it is 

village assembly by law is a supreme body at village level on both decision making
and governance. But in reality, it has remained with only one major function of
electing the village leaders after every five years, during the local

is overlapping authority between the village assembly and the village executive
officer, which hinders the effectiveness of the assembly. As some issues are
implemented without the consent of the village assembly, it is only the village
executive officer who can decide and implements the local government

  F) What
needs to be done to improve governance in the village.

 Due to the observed challenges from the side
of governance structure, participation on decision making and effective of
village assembly.

existing governance structure at the village level gave more mandate to the
village executive officer, who is the employee of the government and does not
represent the interest of the people. Therefore, the mandate should have been
lied to the village chairperson to go hand on hand with the principle of
decentralization of power from the central government to the grass root

participation on decision making process by people, they should create more
awareness to people on the importance of participating on the decision making
of their own affairs.









Mitra, Subrata. “Making
Local Politics ‘Work’: Rural Elites, Political Conflict, and Legitimacy in
India.” Unpublished manuscript, South
Asia Institute, University of Heidelberg, Germany,1997

Seabright, Paul. “Accountability
and Decentralization in Government: An Incomplete Contracts Model.” European
Economic Review, January 1996, 40


Reference book (Third version, 2012): The training on enhancement of efficiency and
skills to ward and village executive officers. “Mafunzo ya kuboresha ujuzi
na stadi za kazi kwa maafisa watendaji wa vijiji na Mitaa Tanzania Bara