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1.0  Introduction

The 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
level.

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The 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, 1977).

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.

In 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.

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/street structure
and governance

According 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.

Warioba (1999) 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 (Fisher, 2008).

Therefore, 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 Vitongoji.

However, 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).

 

According
to AfDB 2005 report 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

Involvement 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 (Killian, 2008)

Citizen 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.

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 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.

It 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.

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 are petitions for recall
(URT,1982)

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 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?

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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