1.0 and suggestion to improve governance will be given

1.0 
Introduction

The
Constitution of URT, 1977 article 145(1) explain the establishment of local
Government  Authorities not only that but
the power given 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. 
The purpose for establishing  
Local Government as per constitution is stipulated under article 146 (1)
of the constitution which stated 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 (URT,
1977).

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Local
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. Due to this the year 1982 was
remarkably for the introduction of governance at local government authorities.

Therefore,
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 structure and governance

In
Tanzania there are three governing principle endorsed by the policy of
socialism and Self reliance as introduced by Mwalimu Nyerere in 1967 which
includes equality among the community, shared respect  for all families and community participation
in the development of their own village. It is though this policy which
facilitated the development of various strategies which directed the
formulation of villages which was commonly known as Ujamaa village (Hyden,
1980)

According
to Sikander (2015), Forje J (2006). Argued 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 with
the assumption that community are vested with power to decide what they want to
do in terms of planning while there is high dependency of resources from
central level..

(Tidemand,2008), explained that
decentralisation theory 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)

The
theory decentralization insist the activeness of community to participate on
decision making process because it is 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 chairman of
Vitongoji.

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

2.2  Governance
Structure at Village.

The Village have official who are selected by the residents
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 tasked 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
by so doing policy implementation issues are left behind which  then facilitate most of the village to face
challenges during addressing development issues to the community.

According to the final report of Repoa (2008) on
‘The Oversight Process of Local Councils in Tanzania’ explained that current
governance structure at the Village level are characterised with overlapping of
administrative and political function which 
are the outcome of unclear legislative authority given to the leaders
within the Village level ( Elected leader and VEO). Therefore, in order to
strengthen governance at village level the current structure (VA and VC) should
be given power and mandate to make the final decision regarding development
issues within their jurisdiction.

However,
regardless of the existence of the organised framework guiding structure and
governance at Village level to foster development at grassroots community
leaders at village level were reported that they are not responsible to
facilitate the process. This have be declared by the retired chairmen of the
Manka Village when he says that ”community did not take into consideration the
importance of electing candidates whom are committed to devote his/her time on
the issues related to development of the Village rather they focus on political
affiliation”. The existence of political influence was reported to be
contributing factor for the community to ignore the power vested to them
related to plan on their own development.

2.3  Citizens
participation in decision making

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

Participation
of the Citizen at a village level are guided by variety of  theories among them are (1) Decision making
theory which emphasis  on the democratic
mechanisms should be adhered on decision making at Village level, therefore the
decision made within the village 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 (Nyerere,1972), (2) the decentralisation theory which
explaining and indicates how the central authority should transfer power and
responsibilities to the lower level, in order to give citizen the legal power
to plan and executing  decision regarding
development within their localities (Smoke, P. 2003)

According
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 residents 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 complained 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.

It
was also said that there is misconception that the statutory village meeting
are organised to fulfil the needs of political affiliation of the village
leaders specifically those whom were elected hence community are not willingly
accepting to attend fully due to political diversity of the residents hence
denial their right to participate during decision making process at the village
level.

Therefore,
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 or petitions for recall which
will be sent to the District Commission and requesting him/her to attend
impersonal in VA in order to handle the matter concerning removal from the
position of the Village Chairman (URT,1982). It was revealed that citizen are
not aware of the procedures of making their leader accountable rather they wait
till election therefore leader take advantage to do what they think is right
for them and not for the benefit of citizen at large. Chairman said no leader
have been reported accountable at Manka Village for the past 20 years but no
chairman have been re-elected to the position after end of his/her tenure.

According
to Moncrieffe J.M. (2001) explained that holding elected or appointed officials
accountable helped to ensure leaders are answerable for specific actions or
activities to the citizens from whom they derive their authority. Therefore it
then becomes  the mandatory for them to
give feedback on how the resource within the Village have been used and to what
extent was the intervention decided have been effected. This has facilitated
the introduction of development of quarterly progressive reports which are
submitted to the higher level and are presented to the VA.

2.5  Village
Assembly as village Bunge how effective it is

It
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 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 and supervision over other village organs.
Therefore there is a need to revise the existing power and mandate of the
Village Bunge in order to make them effective in decision making process and
enforcement.

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

The
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.

It
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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