1.1Introduction of the studyGovernancerefers to the sound exercise of political, economic, and administrativeauthority to manage a country’s resources for development. It involves theinstitutionalization of a system through which citizens, institutions,organizations, and groups in a society articulate their interests, exercisetheir rights, and mediate their differences in pursuit of the collective good”(Country Governance Assessment, 2005). The governance system is there to ensurethat political, social, economic and cultural priorities are based on societyconsensus and the voice of the poor people are heard in decision making processtowards the allocation of developmentresources and efforts (UNDP,1997). 1.
2Theoretical framework guiding village structure1.2.1The theory of depoliticisation This theory was developed by JohnHarriss, Profesor of a London school of economics (2001), he reveals aboutparticipation of citizens in making decisions of social capital, trust and civil societyempowerment as regarded as weapons for political and socio-economic change inthe society, this could be achieved if citizens appear in meeting and allissues pattern their area. He directedfurther, against movement of the political left for progressive socio-economicand political change which identify the root change in class difference. Heargued that, there is a move to reduce poverty to a technical problem, and byproviding technical solution to suffering of powerless and oppressed people.The hegemonic problems development becomes the principles means through whichthe problem is depoliticized. 1.3Governance structure at street levelThe street government exist under article145(1)-(2) and article 146(1)- (2)(a-c) of the local government establishmentAct No 15 of 1984 with the purpose transferring authority and brought servicenear to the people.
This functions under street assembly whereby residents of18 years of age and above have ability and power to formulate and approved by-lawof the respective street. However the street assembly works under chairpersonand his/her committees.In accordance with local authority thestreet assembly work through committees and dealt with specific matters such associal services, economic affairs, safety and security, financing and planningand budgetary allocation to the responsible department. The village assembly isexpected to meet at least four times a year to discuss issue related toelections of several bodies and common issues related to development affairs ofthe village government (Max, 1991). As per law it should be four times a yearbut sometime it might be more or less regarded to the budget and orders fromCentral government.
Regardingvillage/street is the lowest administrative structure at the district levelwith mandate to monitor all issues at their level, democracy is seen asimportant institution for promote accountability and transparency among theleaders and citizen from village government to the central government level. Theorganization which is responsible registering village is called village council,the village council is consisted a chairperson elected by village assembly andsub-village-village chairperson, health workers, head teachers, villagers andother official function in the village context (Njunwa,2005). 1.4Citizen participation in decision makingTheTanzania legislation considers citizens participation to be among principle ofgood governance.
Decision making rules was stipulated in the Local government ActNo 8 of 1982. According to this Act leaders have mandate to enhancing effectiveinvolvement. The citizen participation is key engine to development since it enablescommunity members to participate fully in implementing activities such asadministrative decision-making, agenda-setting, and policy formulation for theoverall benefit of their societies.
Good Governance system enables communitymembers to improve the quality of decisions making processes and policiesformulated by tapping into more extensive sources of information and viewpoints(Nardini, 2004).Researchconducted by Mwakasangula, at al (2015), reveals that citizens’ involvement indecision making process helps to get better result. This can be achieved if leadershave ability to make citizens willingly give their opinions and suggestionstowards decisions patterning development.Accordingto chairperson of Mwananyamala kwa Kopa street, he explained that citizens areparticipated in decisions made though the turn up to those meeting were not alwaysgood and no attendance of participation because there is no by- law to forcethem.
Asit been observed the tendency of citizen not to show up in Street assembly isbecause people do not consider that are part of decision as history. Also, inmost cases when they participated what was agreed wasn’t taken seriously asresult they felt no need of even attending those meetings. 1.4.1Importance of citizen participation in decision makingIthelps to improve the quality of decisions made and policies formulated bytapping into more extensive and alternative sources of information fromcredible media and government bodies which is responsible to store anddissemination information to the people (Fischhoff, 2008). Itenhance responsive to the needs of their communities.
In regard to thecommunity’s input in policy, planning and budgeting processes, citizen’s viewsare being considered as important for attainment and promotion of thesocio-economic development and hence ensuring that their expectations are beingmet and their priorities are being addressed accordingly (Sotta, 1990). Itplays crucial role on promote active public participation helps sustain thelegitimacy of the decisions made. Community members are more likely to acceptthe decisions and to feel that they are fair more so than if they have not beeninvolved in the decision-making process (Fischhoff, 2008). Itenhances transparency and accountability which in turn helps to improve theoverall quality of governance. This will enable the members of the community toset the long-term planning and policies as engine for attainment of the overallsocio-economic development. Therefore, transparency and accountability is seenis engine for enhance citizen participation and managed to make decision makingin regard to their expectation to fulfill their priorities and needs(Malunde,2008). 1.
4.2Applicability of Constitution on citizen participation processAconstitution says Inmost cases, Tanzania’s constitution basically guarantees participation: ‘Everycitizen has the right and freedom to participate fully in the process leadingto the decision on matters affecting him, his well-being or the nation'(Article 21(1). 1.
5Mechanisms are available and applied to hold leaders into accountHolding local government leaders toaccount is an action of punishment of those leaders who have failed to meet theexpected duties and responsibilities.· AccountabilityIt has been seen that the long chain ofhierarchy levels generates an environment subject to corruption than focusingon generating performance because all people in the leadership chain aregenerally play the similar role. On the other hand, local people have littleawareness of what they should expect from village government at any levelbecause the fundamental role of villages representative is just to lead peoplein development issues such as land allocation, water supply, school, roads andhospital/dispensaries construction. Chairperson is elected by citizen, andthose people have mandate to make him/her accountable and sometimes takehim/her out of the position by vote of no confidence (Njunwa, 2005& Mustafa2008).In addition, the degree ofaccountability can be measured by considering the degree of people inclusion ondevelopment issues and participating openly on working together with villagegovernment in order to bringing their own development. Also, chairperson of Mwananyamala Kwa Koparesponded the same by saying for Civil Servant the law used to employ him/herwill used to make him accountable and chairperson the citizen will use vote ofno confidence to the leader and make him/her accountable. All the mechanism are real available inwritings but its applicability still not taken seriously since those people arecontinue to work in those offices as leaders. Therefore, the citizen have power to holdelected leaders to account because the citizen is one who can fast identifiedand discovered the weakness of his or her leaders in the village.
Then afterdiscovering the weakness of the leaders, a citizen has the right to present itfor further displinary action in the village meeting then the finally decisioncan be taken so that further action taken. It largely true that citizen havefull mandate to hold leaders to account (Mutahaba, 2012). 1.6Village Assembly as village Bunge, how effective it is?1.6.1Village Assembly In the case of Mwananyamala Kwa Kopa themembership of the village assembly consists of all people who are usuallyresident in the village and have attained the apparent age of 18years.
Then,these citizen have power to participate in village matters and responsible formaking decision in regard to their problems, social needs and plan for attaindevelopment, and the assembly as per law should be four times in a year, thismay be less or more depending the demands of area itself. 1.6.2Function of village assembly The village assembly is regarded assupreme authority on all matters in regard to affairs of the village. Thevillage assembly is primarily responsible for the election of the villagecouncil and the removal from the council of any or all of the members of thecouncil, including the hamlet chairpersons whom it does not elect (Max, 1991). Inregarding to the local government act of 1982 section 24 states “there shallbe village assembly for every village”.
All the ideas in most cases remainin writing since taking out a leader into their position took process as aresult ignoring the process. 1.6.3The effectiveness of the village Assembly1.6.
3.1Village government play an important role of enhance openness to villagegovernmentThe village leaders are obliged topresent report to the village assembly in regard to all activities done by thevillage government over the three months from the last village assembly to thecurrent meeting as it’s done at the Mwananyamala Kwa Kopa. On the other hand,leaders need to communicate periodically to the village assembly whatever havebeen done by them quarterly such as providing budget and financial reports inregard to expenditure and income. (Max, 1991).
18.104.22.168Enhance the degree of local people participation in decision makingIn the case study of Kwa Kopa, one ofthe fundamental roles, the village assembly has to ensure the villagegovernment through participation of village residents in all matters related tothe development at the village level.
In that sitting village residents get achance to engage in matters concerning them such as analyzing the villagesituation, asks different questions and explanation to village governors,discuss different problems facing their villagers as well as identifyingdifferent opportunities the village has and set priorities depending to thenumber of problems and the resources they possesses (Kaminyonge, 2008). 1.7What needs to be done to improve governance in the village level?1.
7.1Strengthening citizen participation at local levelCitizenparticipation in local governance involves ordinary citizensassessing their own needs and participating in local project planning andbudget monitoring. It is important for improving public resource management andreducing corruption, by making public servants and politicalleaders accountable to the people. Therefore, legislation considersthe participation of the villagers to be an important element and engine ofgood governance system (Mwakasangula et al.
2015). The process of formulate any policies atvillage level should be people centered responsibility and opinions needsshould be given by the people in regard to the people’s needs, management ofthe resources and development should be discussing and come appropriate policyframework which focus on solving and improving the current problems thevillages. Then, the amendment of policy at village level needs to include asection that allows village councils to analyze and adapt policies inconsultation with village assemblies in order to increase citizen ownership andability to demand accountability in case of poor implementations by leaders. 1.7.3Provision of seminars and workshop on governance issuesThis can be done by the non-governmentalorganization in collaboration with local government. The role ofNon-governmental organization is ensure the local people are participating inworkshop and seminars, also another responsibility of NGOs is to educate thelocal people on governance issues and be able to assess their implication inthe daily life. On the other hand, local government play fundamental role oninforming the local people through the public notice board and meetingconducting at the village level as the result will help the villagers toparticipate in the meeting and workshop intended to be conducted at thevillage.
1.7.4Implementation of plans according to street One among the challenges in Kwa Kopa iswhen they took ideas to the council its implementation delayed and made peoplefeel that their leaders are not responsible while it is not them.
Some of theseplanned previous the citizens devote their time and energy to do some jobs likemaking brick for construction, dig the tunnel for school builds but now people are busy doing their business. 1.7.5BudgetThis had being observed as very bigchallenge in making sure that the meeting is conducted as scheduled, becauseall the expenditure of the meeting are coming from street collections anddonors.
So whenever they fail to get money meetings won’t be as planned. Inconnection to that the street offices lack even stationeries which is used fortheir daily basis as a result people have being asked to brought papers for anydocuments or pay for which is against law. 1.7.6Different ideologyIn Street Council the leaders might camefrom different political party in which most of the people are not, for thatcase challenge might arise because citizens from different party will notsometimes provide full support with feeling of doing that is against their ideology,while in real sense it is just development for both not for a particular party. RecommendationsThe governance at grassroots level seemto have a lot of challenges which make them not to perform well their duties,there are several strategies suggested;- influencing the Municipal Council to open up economic activities foreach street council, so as to raise money for different activities.Secondly, the Municipal Council shouldimplement what the Street Council ask but not what they think because theirpriority may differ, this could be successful only by involving those leadersin grassroots’ level example Mwananyamala Kwa Kopa might not need dispensarybecause they have Mwananyamala Hospital nearby.
Thirdly, citizens need to be educated onissues patterning development in the local level because by so doing will beeasy to built the big one(national wise). Also in issues of ideology people ina particular street need to think of development as per their area not for aleader of different ideology.