Thegoverning structure that exists in Tanzania at the grassroots level is theoutcome of the implementation of the decentralization by devolution policy (Dby D) which emphases on transferring of authority items of functions andresponsibilities of the central government to where communities lives in orderto empower them to decide on they plans. The government intends to give morepower to the community to decide what they what to be done at the communitylevel.TheConstitution of URT, 1977 article 145(1) explain the establishment of localGovernment Authorities not only that butthe give power to the Parliament to enact law which will provide directives onhow governance should be adhered at grassroots level items of structures,function, powers and responsibilities that vested to the establishedauthorities at low level.
The purposefor establishing Local Government asper constitution is stipulated under article 146 (1) of the constitution whichclearly that the government needs people to have authority power to participatein planning and policy implementation at grassroots level and the localgovernment should have that responsibilities of making sure that the communityare engaged fully on the development of the country from that level (URT,1977). Localgovernment Authorities in Tanzania was officially established after theenactment of law as per the power vested to the Parliament in 1982. Theimportant Legislation enacted for the operationalization of the establishmentof Local Government Authorities were; The Local Government (DistrictAuthorities) Act, 1982, No.7 of 1982, The Local Government (Urban Authorities)Act, 1982, No. 8 OF 1982, The Local Government Finance Act, 1982, No.9 of 1982,The Local Government Service Act, 1982, No. 10 of 1982 and The Local GovernmentNegotiating Machinery Act, 1982, No.
11 of 1982.In1982 it was remarkably for the introduction of governance at local governmentauthorities whereby the clearly the law declared (The Local Government(District Authorities) Act, 1982, No.7 of 1982, The Local Government (UrbanAuthorities) Act, 1982, No. 8 OF 1982) different levels of authority from thecommunity level up to the District level. The authorities differ from the Ruraland Urban Setting, the Rural setting the authorities was divided into wards,Villages and hamlet while in Urban authorities was divided into only two levelswhich are wards and street/Mtaa level.Therefore,the argument for the governance on Village level will be discussed wherebytheories governing village level, Governance Structure, Citizen participationin decision making will be identified, Mechanisms are available and Mechanism to hold Leader into account will beobserved, how effective the Village Bunge is will be asked and suggestion toimprove governance will be given in village level. 2.
Theoretical and EmpiricalReview on Governance in Village Level2.1 Theoreticalframework guiding village/street structure and governanceAccordingto Sikander (2015), explained that local government authority are the result ofdecentralisation of administration at lower level, whereby the law are made atCentral Government and are implemented at the grassroots. (Tidemand,2008), explained thatdecentralisation as among the framework that governing Village level governanceas it refers to the delegation of the responsibilities that were supposed to beperformed by the central government and hence are transferred to the low levelof the government structure in order be performed by the community themselves .Moreover when the government is giving power to make decision and to power todecide on how policies should be implemented to the community level is wheredevolution policy came in to practice (ibid). The village level implementing the policy of D by D which gives mandateleaders at the grassroots to perform their task as stipulated in the law.According to the study done by Massoi, (2009) revealed that the aim of thepolicy to bring government closer to the people have been well articulated bothfrom the political, academic and government perspective.
The policyimplementation has challenges specifically for those whom the responsibilitiesare vested that are the grassroots level (Shivji, 2003)Therefore,decision making process are the vital aspect that guiding administration ofVillage level. According URT, (1982) explained that at the village level thereare two main organs for decision making which are Village Assembly (VA) andVillage Council (VC). The Village Assembly comprises of adult community memberat that particular jurisdiction, It’s the VA which elect member of not lessthan 15 and not more than 25 to form VC preceded by the Chair who is electedfrom the VA before other member also, other member involved are the chairmen ofVitongoji.However,regardless of the existence of the well framework guiding structure andgovernance at Village level the chairmen of the Manka Village declared thatcommunity did not take issues of electing candidate whom are committed todevote his/her time on the issues related to development of the Village. Theproblem of existence of political influence was reported to be contributingfactor for the community to ignore the authority given to them.2.
2 GovernanceStructure at Village.The Village have official who are selected by themember of the particular village to assume responsibilities of leadership. This official are dealing with all matterconcerning policy implementation at village level while there is VillageExecutive Officer (VEO) whom are employee of the government and are task tooversee all administrative authority within the Village.
The emphasis is thatVillage level is the full governing entity whereby leader at the village arevested power by the law established them (URT, 1982). URT (2003) indicated key aspect on governance inTanzania which is transparency, Stakeholders Participation, legal and judicialframework, combating corruption and accountability. Therefore, the governancestructure at village level is key actors on fulfilment of the governance aspectat local level. It was observed that the existing structure of governance atvillage level are characterised with struggling of administrative duty from theelected member with VEO within theVillage and leaving behind policy implementation which then facilitate most of the village to facechallenge during addressing development issues to the community.2.3 Citizensparticipation in decision makingInvolvementof the community to the decision made at Village level are highly encourageleader from the village were instructed to ensure that their resident takecharge in all matter related to the development at their jurisdiction. Participation of the Citizen in decisionmaking at low level authority as it give them legitimacy and ability to demandfor accountability among elected leaders and other official at Village level (Graham, 2008)Citizenparticipation may be guided with various theories among them are (1) Decisiontheory which emphasis the democratic decision making which are insisted atVillage level should be based on the assumption that those whom are affected bythe decision should be given right to be involved full on decision makingprocess, (2) decentralisation theory tries to show how the central authoritycan transfer power and responsibilities to the lower level and how thecommunity are exercised the power vested to them.
Accordingto the interview done via phone with chairperson and VEO for Manka Villagelocated at Same District Council revealed that the attendance of the statutorymeeting of the resident at the village level is very bad and facilitated themnot to hold the previous quarter meeting. They both identified reasons for lowattendance such as community does not take in to consideration the importanceof the meeting and they compline that the information for the meeting are notgiven on time. This is also supported bythe study done by Kaminyonge, (2008) which revealed the similar findings.Itwas also said that there is misconception that the statutory village meetingare organised due to political affiliation and pressure hence community are notwillingly accepting to attend fully hence denial their right to participantduring decision making process at the village level. Therefore,there is a need to clarify political dichotomy existing in our countriesspecifically at village level in order to eliminate the existing misconceptionand hence to capacitate the community on the important of attending thestatutory village meeting. 2.4 Mechanismsare available to and applied to holders leaders into accountThe Village level in Tanzania comprises two types ofleader that exist, those who are elected headed by Village chairperson and other elected member from VC whichhave the key role of managing policy formulation but there is no salaries paidto them. The other categories are those who are employed by the government.
The procedure to hold both leaders accountablediffer due to the fact that each one of the leader at Village level came intopower in a different way. The public servants VEO are accountable on the basisThe Government Standing Order of 2009 while chairperson of the Village may beremoved from his/her position throughelection are petitions for recall (URT,1982)2.5 VillageAssembly as village Bunge how effective it isIthas been observed that although section 141 of the 1982 Local Government Actgave substantial power to the VA and Section 142(1), (2) (a-e) which shows thefunctions that should be performed by the VA.
According to the study done byJonathan 2002 he observed that although VA has vested all power to do whatseems to be good to the residents of the particular place but it lack theoperative provision which stipulate how these procedures should happen, headded that in practice the village Assembly behave like an electoral collegenot a decision making body with ultimate powers of control, supervision andauthority over other village organs. 2.6 Whatneeds to be done to improve governance in the Village?Thegovernance at Village level needs to be improved, according to the observationraised by the chairman from Manka Village of misconception which also wassupported by scholar on the necessity to capacitate the community in order tohave full participation of statutory meeting which was hindered mainly by existingmisconception. Itwas observed that there is a need to change the legal framework governingVillage the Law was enacted during the reform era there is a lot of changeswhich need to be accommodated due to the changes of technology and increaseddemand, diversity of the community.