A) Theoretical frameworkguiding village structure and governance Tanzania’s government system is made up twomain structures. These are the central and localgovernment. The local government system was designed according to the British modelof local government It is a centralized system of local government with limiteddecision making and financial autonomy. The structure of local governance in Tanzaniahas a long history, dated back to ancient times when we had kingship andkinsman leadership. In relations to the concept of governance I categorize thelocal governance into pre-colonial era and post-colonial era in Tanzania. During the ancient time, the system ofgovernance was highly centralized, that was from village or households to thekings.
Kings has village representativein forms of chief and cell leaders, whom collected taxes and rule on thoseareas on behalf of the king or chief.Butduring pre-colonial period, when the colonizer arrived in then Tanganyika, theyfound these systems of governance in place. And they had to de-structure thesystem to impose their own system of governance. For instance, the Germanycolonial masters in the coastal areas and at the grassroots level the put inplace 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 ofZanzibar had employed them in his administrative structures too. These Jumbeswere essentially village headmen who were hereditary and unpaid, who receivedcompensation from tribute and services rendered by their constituencies. Butthey main role was to ensure the smooth ruling of the colonial master overwhole of their constituencies. And cement their position to thecolonial structure of governance by their efficient execution of the colonialinterests over the local village population.
Duringthe post-colonial period, immediately after independence the governmentinherited the pre-colonial structure of governance, while not abolishing theinherited local government structure, initiated many changes which had theeffect of integrating it thoroughly in government and ruling party structuresand processes. According to Kamugisha (1979) the post-colonial constitution didnot pre-scribed the local governments as territorial areas separate from thedistrict. The organizational structure placed local governments below districtadministration. The moved cemented thelocal government, central government and the ruling party to work as a singlesystem but with asymmetrical power relations, with the party on top followed bythe central government and lastly local government. The local authority act wasamendment 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 werereplaced by village committee system of governance.
The creation of a committee system was toprovide the necessary avenues for participation and to enable the localleadership to translate the people’s enthusiasm into solid achievement. Development committees were set up from thevillage to the regional level to spearhead and coordinate local developmentactivities as well as to create avenues for local participation in decisionmaking process.In1972 Local Governments were abolished, to be replaced by DecentralizedAdministration which consisted of wide ward development committee.
But theseward development committee failed to have a majority participation in decisionmaking process and the goal for replacement of the village committee was neverachieve, as there was no popular participation for decision making on issueswhich had interest to most of the citizen. Then President Nyerere decided tore-instate back the local government and giving power to the people again, in1982 the legislative body passed the law which established the local government.The authority came into effect in January 1984 as prescribed under the LocalGovernment (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 governmenthas been given authority to recognize the village authority and township evenif they do not meet the minimum prescribed criteria in the subject act.Theprincipal objective of re-instating the local government ” which villagegovernment fall in” as prescribed in the constitution of united republic ofTanzania was ” consolidating and giving back power to the people” who shall beentitled and competent to participate, and to allow peoples involvement inplanning and implementation their development agenda in their respectivecommunities URT(1977).The local government is responsible to enhancingdemocracy at local level through involving people in planning and implementationof development programs in their particular localities. The goal which theformer structure of governance failed to achieve. Despite the re-instatement of the localgovernance but there lie challenges on accountability, popular participation ondecision making and concept of good governance on lower level of street” mtaa”or village “Kijiji”. Therefore,this paper will analyze the concept of governance at Kijitonyama mpakani ward,Sinza mori street on how the formulation of the existing governance structureshelps or hinders the issues of accountability to the street leaders and thepopular participation on decision making process and implementation ofdevelopment agendas. And the power demarcation between the local government andthe central government as prescribe in the URT (1977) and how it impacts thegood governance at the lower level of governance. CONCEPTUALIZATIONOF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND GOVERNANCE The Tanzanian LocalGovernment system is founded based on political devolution and decentralizationoffunctionalresponsibilities, powers and resources from central government to localgovernment and fromhigher levels of localgovernment to lower levels of local government and overall empower the peopletohave ultimate control overtheir welfare as shown in URT (revised 2005).
The Founding provision of theConstitution of the United Republic of Tanzania recognize local government asautonomous bodies with legal status operating with discretionary powers overlocal affairs within the unitary system of the Republic of Tanzania. TheTanzania local government system is designed to enhance democracy and justiceto the lower level. There are various theoriesand concept which led to the formation of local government “local authority”.But the two-popular concept of political devolution and decentralization can beviewed as;Political devolution is creation or the financialor legal strengthening of sub national units of government concerned withactivities which are substantially outside the direct control of the centralgovernment. Under devolution, local units of government are autonomous andindependent, and their legal status makes them separate or distinct from thecentral government. And decentralizationmeans delegating some of the functional authority and power by the centralgovernment to the lower government. And the local authority can determine theirown local affairs without the interference of the central authority.There are various school ofthought that guide the establishment of local government “local authority”.
Some of these theories are; the democratic participatory theory, efficiencyservice theory and development theory.The democratic participatory theory, theorize that the principalfunction of local government is to enhance democracy through widerparticipation of citizen in their political process. That is people have wideroom to choose their leaders and get elect into power, and through democraticparticipation they can discuss and determine their own affairs. So, the localgovernment “local authority is formed due to the need of democratic participation,like in Tanzania when then president Nyerere decided to re-instate back thelocal government due to the existing structure lack of wide participation bythe majority into the democratic process of governance.The second theory ofefficiency service this urge that, the principal objective of the localgovernment is not enhancing the democracy rather it is to bring the socialservice to the community in a more efficient way as measured by centralgovernment.
And the service should align with national objectives. For instance,in Tanzania they formed the village development committee to spear head thedevelopment process in the lower level, and these committee were responsible tomobile resources and labour in building the school and hospital in theirrespective areas. And ensuring there is proper provision of services to theresiding citizen of their respective areas.The third theory of decentralization by devolution, this differs fromthe two theories by emphasizing on how the establishment of local government inthe developing world can stimulate and foster the better standard of living,social service, economic empowerment and better share of national cake tocountry citizen.
As the central government leave some of financial resources tobe controlled by the local government and the revenue collected is used fordevelopment purpose in the respective areas. For instance, in Tanzania areaswhere there are ongoing mining activities the local government they areentitled to 10 % of the collected revenue from extracted minerals. And thesemoneys can be used into various development activities, such as building healthcentres, schools or road constructions. In Musoma municipal council, the moneywas 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 theconceptualization of governance is slightly wide and confusing depending on theliterature and scholar perspective on governance.
According to J. Pierre (2000)who argues that “on one hand it refers to the empirical manifestations ofstate adaptation to its external environment and forces as it emerges in the latetwentieth century and on the other hand, governance denotes a conceptual or theoreticalrepresentation of co-ordination of social systems and, for the most part, the roleof the state in that process. It gives the framework for central governmentrole in steering the coordination of the social system in bringing the socialservices and development to its people.Generally, governance is the institutional capacity of public organizationsto provide public and other goods demanded by a country’s citizens or therepresentatives thereof in an effective, transparent, impartial, andaccountable manner, subject to resource constraints. The concept of governanceis most found in the international organization such as UNDP, IMF and WorldBank etc key area of interest to developing countries. Which through goodgovernance initiatives try to support reforms and increase the capacity of developingcountries government promoting and strengthening participation of civil societyand citizen in governing process.
B) GovernanceStructure at village/street level The governance structure atvillage level is prescribed in local government establishment act no 7 and 8 of1982 section 14 (1) -(5) and 22 (1) -(3) respectively. The street/villagegovernment is functioning under the street/village assembly which is attendedby all street/village resident who are 18 yrs and above. The village assemblyhas constitutional mandate, to formulate and approve by laws and policies fordevelopment of their respective streets and villages.The village assembly isassembled and works under the elected street/village chairperson, who iselected in the street/village general election which is conducted once afterevery 5 years. The chairperson is administrative assisted by village/ StreetExecutive Officer(VEO/MEO) in terms of planning and executing the approvedpolicies.
The village/ street assemblyworks through the system of committee, in which each committee consist of 9members. And each formed committee is assigned with a specific issue to dealswith throughout its tenure of existence. The issues range from education,security, water and sanitation etc. Theaim of the street/ village assembly is to promote and enhance citizenparticipation in the governance process and to have control of their affairs.The same structure of village leadership has been set up at our sinza moristreet.But there is a challenge inthe function of the street government, because of the overlapping authoritybetween the chairperson and street executive officer.
The former is elected bycitizen as their representative and serve the people’s interest, but the latteris the employee of the government and his specifically there to serve theinterest of the government. And has been entitled with a mandate to suspend theelected leadership, if there is any stand of between the government and thelocal authority. Even though the village government are indirect responsible atimplementing the central government policies at the grass root level. Such asdifferent government household levies are collected by street committee on thebehalf of the government.
Sometimes through the 10 cell representatives, forinstance when the RC for Dar es salaam initiated the security measure to havethe background check for the resident of DSM. This was implemented through thestreet authority, each chairperson had to collected the information patterningtheir resident works, age, and properties and submit the same to governmentauthorities.Therefore, the currentstructure of giving the administrative capacity to street executive isdiminishing the authority from the people and handling it over back to thecentral government.
And this limits the capacity of street government tofunction as a separate institution from the central government. C) Citizensparticipation in decision making Trewatha& Newport (2001) cited in Nardini (2004)defined decision making process as a practice involving the selection of acourse of action from among two or more possible alternatives to arrive at asolution for a given problem. Problems and both social and economic needs are thereat lower level, and for it to be effectively tackled they need wideparticipation of the citizen through the decision-making process.Citizen participates in decision making in villagelevel through the existing organ of governance, there are two major organ ofgovernance which are the village assembly (VA) and Village Council (VC).
Alladult members reside in that village are the members of the VA. The villageassembly is headed by the elected chairperson who leads the village Councils ofnot less than 15 and not more than 25 members. In the village assembly people formulates their localpolicies and by law, and through their elected representative. But still thereis a challenge in popular participation due to lack of awareness and thevillage leadership failure to held the village assembly. And the existence of villageexecutive officer to have an administrative mandate which overlap with themandate of the elected leaders..
D) Mechanisms are available and applied tohold leaders into account Accountability has beendefined to include pro-active behaviour like information, justification,evaluation of performance in addition to rule following, the calling to accountbefore during and after decision are made and the application of sanctions(both positive and negative). There is various mechanism to hold the leadersaccountable at the village level, among of the mechanism is; resolution of removingthe village chairperson from the post which is supported by 2/3 of membersattended by the village assembly.Furthermore, Section 61 (2)of the local government act, also provides for other oversight mechanisms bystating that any village council members who absents himself from three consecutiveordinary meetings of the Village Council or of a Committee meeting of which heis a member he shall by such absence be disqualified from continuing to be amember of the village council of that committee.These mechanisms enhancethe accountability to the village leaders, while there is a relativelyclear system of accountability in the village government, the performance of accountability mechanisms remains a challenge and does not yield apositive outcome. There are various factors which makes the implementation ofmechanism to remain a problematic. These include the lack of awareness by thepeople on the available mechanism to hold their leaders accountable. Another factoris poor access of information, lack of transparency, poor participation ofcitizen on decision making process also contributes to poor implementation onholding the leaders accountable.
E) VillageAssembly as village Bunge, how effective it is Thevillage assembly by law is a supreme body at village level on both decision makingand governance. But in reality, it has remained with only one major function ofelecting the village leaders after every five years, during the localelections.Thereis overlapping authority between the village assembly and the village executiveofficer, which hinders the effectiveness of the assembly.
As some issues areimplemented without the consent of the village assembly, it is only the villageexecutive officer who can decide and implements the local governmentpriorities. F) Whatneeds to be done to improve governance in the village. Due to the observed challenges from the sideof governance structure, participation on decision making and effective ofvillage assembly.Theexisting governance structure at the village level gave more mandate to thevillage executive officer, who is the employee of the government and does notrepresent the interest of the people. Therefore, the mandate should have beenlied to the village chairperson to go hand on hand with the principle ofdecentralization of power from the central government to the grass rootgovernance.Theparticipation on decision making process by people, they should create moreawareness to people on the importance of participating on the decision makingof their own affairs. REFERENCE Mitra, Subrata.
“MakingLocal Politics ‘Work’: Rural Elites, Political Conflict, and Legitimacy inIndia.” Unpublished manuscript, SouthAsia Institute, University of Heidelberg, Germany,1997Seabright, Paul. “Accountabilityand Decentralization in Government: An Incomplete Contracts Model.” EuropeanEconomic Review, January 1996, 40 Reference book (Third version, 2012): The training on enhancement of efficiency andskills to ward and village executive officers.
“Mafunzo ya kuboresha ujuzina stadi za kazi kwa maafisa watendaji wa vijiji na Mitaa Tanzania Bara