1.0 IntroductionThegoverning 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 power given 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 structure and governanceInTanzania there are three governing principle endorsed by the policy ofsocialism and Self reliance as introduced by Mwalimu Nyerere in 1967 whichincludes equality among the community, shared respect for all families and community participationin the development of their own village. It is though this policy which facilitatedthe development of various strategies which directed the formulation ofvillages which was commonly known as Ujamaa village (Hyden, 1980)Accordingto 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 theory as among the framework that governing Village levelgovernance as it refers to the delegation of the responsibilities that weresupposed to be performed by the central government and hence are transferred tothe low level of the government structure in order be performed by thecommunity themselves . Moreover when the government is giving power to makedecision and to power to decide on how policies should be implemented to thecommunity level is where devolution policy came in to practice (ibid).
The village level implementing the policy ofD by D which gives mandate leaders at the grassroots to perform their task asstipulated in the law. According to the study done by Massoi, (2009) revealedthat the aim of the policy to bring government closer to the people have beenwell articulated both from the political, academic and government perspective.The policy implementation has challenges specifically for those whom theresponsibilities are vested that are the grassroots level (Shivji, 2003)Thetheory of participation on decision making process are the vital aspect thatguiding administration of Village level. According URT, (1982) explained thatat the village level there are two main organs for decision making which areVillage Assembly (VA) and Village Council (VC). The Village Assembly comprisesof adult community member at that particular jurisdiction, It’s the VA whichelect member of not less than 15 and not more than 25 to form VC preceded bythe Chair who is elected from the VA before other member also, other memberinvolved are the chairman of Vitongoji.Thetransaction theory of governance which according to Williamson (1999) explainedthat it view organisation/firm as the compromising group of differentindividual with different goal. This difference of individual facilitates tohave the group that are opportunist and hence arrange thins on their owninterest within the society or firm.
This reflect what is happening to the mostof the Village in Tanzania but specifically like Same where there reviewer havehad opportunity to interview shows the decision which are made in a VC orCommittee are made to benefit some groupof people and not the community at large they are selfishly made to benefit personal interest.However,regardless of the existence of the organised framework guiding structure andgovernance at Village level which foster development at grassroots communityleader of some village are not responsible to facilitate the process. This havebe declared by the retired chairmen of the Manka Village when he says that ”communitydid not take into consideration the importance of electing candidate whom arecommitted to devote his/her time on the issues related to development of theVillage rather they focus on political affiliation”. The problem existence ofpolitical influence was reported to be contributing factor for the community toignore 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.According to the final report of REPOA (2008) on ‘TheOversight Process of Local Councils in Tanzania’ explained that currentgovernance structure at the Village level are characterised with overlapping ofadministrative and political function which are the outcome of unclear legislativeauthority given to the leaders within the Village level ( Elected leader and VEO).
Therefore, in order to strengthen governance at village level the currentstructure (VA and VC) should be given power and mandate to make the finaldecision regarding development issues within their jurisdiction.2.3 Citizensparticipation in decision makingInvolvementof the community to the decision made at Village level are highly encourage, leaders of the village were instructed by thelaw to ensure that their residents take charge in all matter related to thedevelopment at their jurisdiction. Participation of the Citizen in decision making at low level authority arethe key driver as it give them legitimacy and ability to demand foraccountability among elected leaders and other official at Village level (Graham, 2008).
Participationof the Citizen or Community at a village level are guided by variety of theories among them are (1) Decision making theorywhich emphasis on the democratic mechanismsshould be adhered on decision making at Village level, therefore the decision madewithin the village should be based on the assumption that those whom areaffected by the decision should be given right to be involved full on decisionmaking process (Nyerere,1972), (2) the decentralisation theory which explainingand indicates how the central authority should transfer power and responsibilitiesto the lower level, in order to give citizen the legal power to plan and executing decision regarding development within theirlocalities (Smoke,P. 2003)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 residents 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 complained 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 to fulfil the needs of political affiliation of the villageleaders specifically those whom were elected hence community are not willinglyaccepting to attend fully due to political diversity of the residents hence denialtheir right to participate during 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 through election or petitions for recall whichwill be sent to the District Commission and requesting him/her to attend impersonalin VA in order to handle the matter concerning removal from the position of theVillage Chairman (URT,1982). It was revealed that citizen are not aware of theprocedures of making their leader accountable rather they wait till electiontherefore leader take advantage to do what they think is right for them and notfor the benefit of citizen at large. Chairman said no leader have been reportedaccountable at Manka Village for the past 20 years but no chairman have been re-electedto the position after end of his/her tenure. Accordingto Moncrieffe J.
M. (2001) explained that holding elected or appointed officialsaccountable helped to ensure leaders are answerable for specific actions oractivities to the citizens from whom they derive their authority. Therefore itthen becomes the mandatory for them togive feedback on how the resource within the Village have been used and to whatextent was the intervention decided have been effected. This have facilitatedthe introduction of development of progressivereport quarterly which are submitted to the higher level and are presented tothe VA.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 but it lack the operative provision whichstipulate how these procedures should happen, he added that in practice thevillage Assembly behave like an electoral college not a decision making body withultimate powers of control and supervision over other village organs. Thereforethere is a need to revise the existing power and mandate of the Village Bungein order to make them effective in decision making process.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 byexisting misconception.
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.