There should be openness
and transparency on sharing the important information relating to the village governance
during the village assembly as stated by laws.
Most of the village representative lack basic education, which is very
important on handling the technical matters. There should be on post training
to build the capacity of these representative.
The village government they should be allowed to choose their village
priorities as per the available resources and implement their development
projects without interruption by the central government.
should be more enhancement to allow people participation in the decision-making
process, and formulation of their policies and they’re by law.
There should be clear power demarcation between
different organ in the structure of village governance to avoid the authority
overlapping which sometimes causes the stalemate to important development
F) Things needs to be done to improve governance
at the village /street level.
is mainly contributing by the lack of the ultimate legislative and executive
power to the village assembly like in the village council. Therefore, the
village assembly is not effective and efficient as it was supposed to be.
village assembly by law is a highest level of governance at village level on
both decision making and governance process. But in practice as observe at sinza mori
street governance, it has only one major function of electing the village
leaders after every five years in the local elections.
effectiveness of village assembly
While there is a clear
system of accountability to the leaders of the village or street government.
The performance of the established mechanism remains a challenge due to various
reason. Such as; a lack of awareness by people on the accountability tools
available to them, poor participation by people during decision making process,
lack of information and difficult in accessing information.
Furthermore, Section 61 (2) of the local government act, 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
Accountability is all about continue being answerable for decision
undertaken even after the decision have been implemented, the account can be either
positive or 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 when it is supported by 2/3 of members attended
the village assembly.
D) Accountability mechanisms available and
applied to hold village leaders accountable
But still there is a challenge on participation of people on decision
making due to the bureaucratic structure of the local government on decision
making such as decision by village executive officer, who is not among the
elected leaders and does not represent the interest of the people. The
overlapping authority between the village executive officer and other body of
the governance at village/street level hinder the effective participation by
people on decision making process.
On other hand the village
assembly is used to formulate and approve the implementation of local policies
and by laws. It the only platform which allows people participation on deciding
their own affairs and setting up their priorities at both village and street
People at village/ street
level participates in decision making through the village assembly. The village
assembly intends to discuss and approve all matters approved by village council
participation in decision making process at village/ street level
Therefore, the current
structure of giving the administrative mandate 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 effectively and as a separate institution from the central government.
But there is a challenge of overlapping authority between the village
committee and government personnel. Which sometimes makes it difficult for the
village/ street governance to implement its policies and by laws when the
collude with government policies and priorities.
The village assembly consists of committee, these committee are assigned
to handle and execute specific functions. Such functions are; health and
sanitary matters, education matters, security matters etc. The village assembly
aims at strengthening the citizen participation in governance process and
determine their own affairs at village/ street level.
The village assembly has been entitled with statutory, to formulate and
approve by laws and policies for development of their respective streets and villages.
The village chairperson is the in charge of the village assembly. The village
chairperson is assisted in administrative matter by village executive officer
to planning and implement the approved policies and by laws.
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 from
the age of 18 and above.
Structure at village/street level
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 to the grass root level of
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
The other theory is efficiency service theory; which urges that the
primary objective of establishing the local government is to enhance the
efficiency and effectiveness of delivery of social service to the community 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 mobilize 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 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 should be
allowed to participate freely on the process of electing their representative
through democratic election. Through this process the power is given to the
people to determine their own affairs.
For the sake of this paper, I will look on the context of the above two
theories, though there are other theories relating to local governance. Some of
these theories are; the democratic participatory theory, efficiency service
theory and development theory, Adeyemo (2005).
And decentralization theory is more focusing on the delegation of
functional authority to the lower government organs. To enhance effectiveness
and efficiency of service deliveries to the grassroot level. The delegated
institutions can make decision and implement some matters relating to their
interest and priorities which does not call for the attention of the central
Political devolution theory proposes the capacity building of financial
and legal status of government units which executes function that are not
directly involved with the central government to work independently from the
influence of central government. Under political devolution theory local
governance are autonomous and works separately from central government.
There are various theories associate with formulation of local
government worldwide. For case of Tanzania and this study. I will look at the
at the decentralization and political devolution theories and its relevance to
Tanzania system of governance at the grass root level of village and street
The Tanzanian Local
Government system is founded based on political devolution and decentralization
of functional 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 to 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 promote democracy and enhance
deliveries of public service at grass roots level.
A) Theoretical framework
guiding village structure and governance
Therefore, 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.
During 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
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. But 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.
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
system is made up two main structures. These are the central and local