1.0 The government intends to give more power


governing structure that exists in Tanzania at the grassroots level is the
outcome of the implementation of the decentralization by devolution policy (D
by D) which emphases on transferring of authority items of functions and
responsibilities of the central government to where communities lives in order
to empower them to decide on they plans. The government intends to give more
power to the community to decide what they what to be done at the community

Constitution of URT, 1977 article 145(1) explain the establishment of local
Government  Authorities not only that but
the give power to the Parliament to enact law which will provide directives on
how governance should be adhered at grassroots level items of structures,
function, powers and responsibilities that vested to the established
authorities at low level.  The purpose
for establishing   Local Government as
per constitution is stipulated under article 146 (1) of the constitution which
clearly that the government needs people to have authority power to participate
in planning and policy implementation at grassroots level and the local
government should have that responsibilities of making sure that the community
are engaged fully on the development of the country from that level (URT,

government Authorities in Tanzania was officially established after the
enactment of law as per the power vested to the Parliament in 1982. The
important Legislation enacted for the operationalization of the establishment
of Local Government Authorities were; The Local Government (District
Authorities) 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 Government
Negotiating Machinery Act, 1982, No.11 of 1982.

1982 it was remarkably for the introduction of governance at local government
authorities whereby the clearly the law declared (The Local Government
(District Authorities) Act, 1982, No.7 of 1982, The Local Government (Urban
Authorities) Act, 1982, No. 8 OF 1982) different levels of authority from the
community level up to the District level. The authorities differ from the Rural
and Urban Setting, the Rural setting the authorities was divided into wards,
Villages and hamlet while in Urban authorities was divided into only two levels
which are wards and  street/Mtaa level.

the argument for the governance on Village level will be discussed whereby
theories governing village level, Governance Structure, Citizen participation
in decision making will be identified, Mechanisms are available and  Mechanism to hold Leader into account will be
observed, how effective the Village Bunge is will be asked and suggestion to
improve governance will be given in village level.

2. Theoretical and Empirical
Review on Governance in Village Level

2.1  Theoretical
framework guiding village/street structure and governance

to Sikander (2015), explained that local government authority are the result of
decentralisation of administration at lower level, whereby the law are made at
Central Government and are implemented at the grassroots.

(Tidemand,2008), explained that decentralisation as among
the framework that governing Village level governance as it refers to the
delegation of the responsibilities that were supposed to be performed by the
central government and hence are transferred to the low level of the government
structure in order be performed by the community themselves . Moreover when the
government is giving power to make decision and to power to decide on how
policies should be implemented to the community level is where devolution
policy came in to practice (ibid).  The
village level implementing the policy of D by D which gives mandate leaders 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 the policy to bring
government closer to the people have been well articulated both from the
political, academic and government perspective. The policy implementation has
challenges specifically for those whom the responsibilities are vested that are
the grassroots level (Shivji, 2003)

decision making process are the vital aspect that guiding administration of
Village level. According URT, (1982) explained that at the village level there
are two main organs for decision making which are Village Assembly (VA) and
Village Council (VC). The Village Assembly comprises of adult community member
at that particular jurisdiction, It’s the VA which elect member of not less
than 15 and not more than 25 to form VC preceded by the Chair who is elected
from the VA before other member also, other member involved are the chairmen of

regardless of the existence of the well framework guiding structure and
governance at Village level the chairmen of the Manka Village declared that
community did not take issues of electing candidate whom are committed to
devote his/her time on the issues related to development of the Village. The
problem of existence of political influence was reported to be contributing
factor for the community to ignore the authority given to them.

2.2  Governance
Structure at Village.

The Village have official who are selected by the
member of the particular village to assume responsibilities of leadership.       This official are dealing with all matter
concerning policy implementation at village level while there is Village
Executive Officer (VEO) whom are employee of the government and are task to
oversee all administrative authority within the Village. The emphasis is that
Village level is the full governing entity whereby leader at the village are
vested power by the law established them (URT, 1982).


URT (2003) indicated key aspect on governance in
Tanzania which is transparency, Stakeholders Participation, legal and judicial
framework, combating corruption and accountability. Therefore, the governance
structure at village level is key actors on fulfilment of the governance aspect
at local level. It was observed that the existing structure of governance at
village level are characterised with struggling of administrative duty from the
elected member  with VEO within the
Village and leaving behind policy implementation which  then facilitate most of the village to face
challenge during addressing development issues to the community.

2.3  Citizens
participation in decision making

of the community to the decision made at Village level are highly encourage
leader from the village were instructed to ensure that their resident take
charge in all matter related to the development at their jurisdiction.  Participation of the Citizen in decision
making at low level authority as it give them legitimacy and ability to demand
for accountability among elected leaders and other official at Village level (Graham, 2008)

participation may be guided with various theories among them are (1) Decision
theory which emphasis the democratic decision making which are insisted at
Village level should be based on the assumption that those whom are affected by
the decision should be given right to be involved full on decision making
process, (2) decentralisation theory tries to show how the central authority
can transfer power and responsibilities to the lower level and how the
community are exercised the power vested to them.

to the interview done via phone with chairperson and VEO for Manka Village
located at Same District Council revealed that the attendance of the statutory
meeting of the resident at the village level is very bad and facilitated them
not to hold the previous quarter meeting. They both identified reasons for low
attendance such as community does not take in to consideration the importance
of the meeting and they compline that the information for the meeting are not
given on time.  This is also supported by
the study done by Kaminyonge, (2008) which revealed the similar findings.

was also said that there is misconception that the statutory village meeting
are organised due to political affiliation and pressure hence community are not
willingly accepting to attend fully hence denial their right to participant
during decision making process at the village level.

there is a need to clarify political dichotomy existing in our countries
specifically at village level in order to eliminate the existing misconception
and hence to capacitate the community on the important of attending the
statutory village meeting.

2.4  Mechanisms
are available to and applied to holders leaders into account

The Village level in Tanzania comprises two types of
leader that exist, those who are elected 
headed by Village chairperson and other elected member from VC which
have the key role of managing policy formulation but there is no salaries paid
to them. The other categories are those who are employed by the government.


The procedure to hold both leaders accountable
differ due to the fact that each one of the leader at Village level came into
power in a different way. The public servants VEO are accountable on the basis The
Government Standing Order of 2009 while chairperson of the Village may be
removed  from his/her position through
election are petitions for recall (URT,1982)

2.5  Village
Assembly as village Bunge how effective it is

has been observed that although section 141 of the 1982 Local Government Act
gave substantial power to the VA and Section 142(1), (2) (a-e) which shows the
functions that should be performed by the VA. According to the study done by
Jonathan 2002 he observed that although VA has vested all power to do what
seems to be good to the residents of the particular place but it lack the
operative provision which stipulate how these procedures should happen, he added
that in practice the village Assembly behave like an electoral college not a
decision making body with ultimate powers of control, supervision and authority
over other village organs.

2.6  What
needs to be done to improve governance in the Village?

governance at Village level needs to be improved, according to the observation
raised by the chairman from Manka Village of misconception which also was
supported by scholar on the necessity to capacitate the community in order to
have full participation of statutory meeting which was hindered mainly by
existing misconception.

was observed that there is a need to change the legal framework governing
Village the Law was enacted during the reform era there is a lot of changes
which need to be accommodated due to the changes of technology and increased
demand, diversity of the community.  







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Graham Harrison
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Issue 02 / June 2008, pp 169 ­ 189

Jonathan G. (2002)
Legal and Policy Frameworks for Citizen Participation in Local Governance

East Africa: a regional report.

Tidemand and Jamal
Msami (2008), ‘The Impact of Local Government reforms in Tanzania

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