Local government is a component of country’s
government which concerns with people’s matter in a certain locality. Local
governance involve different objectives such as good living, working ,
environment protection, self governing societies, also provides
local services according to the need of its people as well as protecting
life and freedom of its citizens.
Citizens’ participation on issues, policies and decision that affect
their life, overall sustainable development which will ensure quality life of
its people is another objective of local governance. Village government is a
unit of local government in Tanzania it exists under section 14 of local
government Act No.8 and 7 of 1982 respectively. Village government is
registered according to sec no.22 of law no.7 of local government .There should
be not less than 250 families, and 1250 citizens for the village to qualify to
be registered. Village is registered by village registry who is elected by the
Minister responsible for local government. Before registering important
requirements must be submitted to the registry such as village boundaries,
number of families in the village which shall not be under 250, number of
people who can work, work and main activities of the village, village land size,
assets and essential services in the village, when the registry is satisfied
with provided information, they register the village.
Village government has two organ village assembly
and council. According to the Act every village government must have village
assembly and village council. Village council contains 15 and 25 member, who
includes chairperson who is elected after every five years, chairpersons of all
vitongoji in the said area, and other members selected by village assembly.
Village council is concerned with welfare and wellbeing of the citizens as well
as social and economic development of the village. Village assembly deals with
all matters of policy making related to affairs of the village and also
selection and removal of village council. The village government is the
smallest local government unit in Tanzania.
of Local Government
theory has been larger part contributed by John Stuart Mills through his work
on utilitarianism, freedom and delegate government. He clarified that great
government is representative government, since it energizes autonomy, value and
solidarity, and influences men to understand the significance requests of other
men, promote political training, cooperation and correspondence. He
additionally clarifies local government is a key part of majority rule
government (democratic), and uncovers intrinsic value of democracy paying
little mind to the services it provides. Government is great when all
individuals can participate. Local government gives closest thing to far
reaching counsel and cooperation. Local government in most western countries
such as Britain and USA, function to create democracy and deliver opportunities
for political participation to citizen as well as instruct and socialize them
politically. Panter (1953) explain participation is essential for democracy because it is the
community that people appreciate and acknowledge others views and learn art of
assumes that local government is a training ground for higher level politics. Theory
assumes participation is key to democracy. When all citizens participate in
public affairs it promotes accountability and transparency. It promotes on the
need of citizens to have freedom. The theory can be relevance on local
government on the part of participation, because on village government
participation is also a key for the development of the village as a whole. That
is why one of the components of village government is village assembly through
which citizens participates on village matters.
has been criticized by the scholars of efficiency services theory, they
explains that democratic participation theory cannot be applicable in different
political system in the same way especially in contemporary situation.
has also focus more on democracy rather provision of services which is one of
the important function of village government to provide services to the
citizens. One of limitation.
The essential issue of efficiency
services theory is the fundamentally or principle target of local government is
to give services to local people. One of the researcher of this approach French
researcher Langood (1953) clarified that democracy was the matter of the
country state as a whole, matter of majority rule, equity and uniformity are the
norm standard. Local government conversely was worried about local contrasts
and separation. Langood further explained it is not good to make local
government as place for political training and democracy, he says that local
government has provided very few political leader unlikely how democratic
theory participation which explained local government is a ground for future
political leaders. He explained residents are likely to learn about democracy
from higher level and not local government. Sharpe (1970) gave an outstandingly strong
case for local governments in light of the fact that it was the effective
administrator for giving services that
are essential locally. He prescribed that the effective execution of these
services is compelling to the point that in the case that local government does
not exist, something different should be made in its put (to provide the
services), which means the local government is vital. The principle practical
obligation of local governments in this theory is to proficiently complete
local obligations dispensed to it, at the most astounding efficiency rate.
The main assumption of efficiency
services theory is the function of local government is to provide services to
locals effectively. This is relatable to village government which services
provision is also essential. Village government provides different services to
its residents according to needs.
Village government provides services like safety and security of the
citizens, social services and also establishes small cooperative business for
the development of the village.
This theory has limitation; it does
not take into account citizen participation in local government in my case
village government which is also essential for development of the village.
Because government needs to know the citizens needs and preference in order to
provide services efficiently according to the needs. So participation is also
For the above two theories
democratic participation and efficiency services theory, for the village to
grow and develop it needs both, democratic participation as well as services
provision. Because villagers needs to know the democracy which promote freedom,
equality and uniformity and also needs services from the government. The two
ideas are essential and more practical together.
Is the most famous theory in Local
government researches. It explains the shifting of power or authority from the
central government to lower levels of government. The theory assumes that that decentralization
leads to good governance since it promotes participation, accountability and
other things. For the village government
to exist central government needs to exercise decentralization. Different
scholars explains types of decentralization,
deconcentration is shifting of low level
authority to central government ,delegation this is assigning responsibilities
to someone else, devolution this is delegation of authority from central
government to low level such as local level, privatision is a shifting of
entity from government to private sector.
Governance Structure Village Governance
Village government is a lower component of local
government in Tanzania. Village governance is to help residents on matters
concerning village. Village governance structure includes:
citizens not less than 18years old.
council members between 15 and 25.
Participation in decision making
Citizen participation is a process where citizens
are involved in decision making on village matters. According to (Stewart 1995),
citizen participation is very important for society development. This is a way
governance is shared with citizens, they give their inputs and they are worked
on. According to sec 103 (2) of local government Act of No.7 1982 (R.E 2002),
demand village assembly to be conducted every three month through this meeting
citizens participates and gets chance to share their views , ides on the matter
that affecting them as member of that village.
of Citizens participation.
It helps citizens to know problems in
the community and find ways to resolve problems.
It helps citizens to know their place in
Citizen participation enhances spirit of
cooperation in the village and increase trust among members of the society.
It helps government to get different and
new ides from the citizens and also exchange information during decision making
Citizen participation in decision
making, policy formulation makes it easier for the government to implement
policy, because all citizens agreed upon it.
Citizen participation helps to create
accountable and responsible leaders and citizens. Leaders will do their job as
well as citizens as agreed.
It also makes citizens to know village
revenues and expenditures.
participation is important for development process in village it is also
expensive and time consuming. Decision that would have been reached in
15minutes with 2 or 5 people it might take an hour or two with 10 or more
people, because different people have different perspectives of the same issue.
participation- Citizens participation in village
assembly and any other public hearing, helps them to know responsibilities both
ways official and citizens. So when officials fail to do their responsibilities
they have to answer to citizens why? So this helps officials to become more
accountable to their responsibilities.
political part- Chairman of the village is a political
leader, he is selected after every five years. Opposition political parties are
also mechanism to hold leaders accountability, because they uncover and show
failures or wrong doing of the party in power.
of Mouth- For the citizens to know what leaders are up to or
what leaders do they need information. At village level information can be
through word of mouth though at higher level (District or country) can be
through media. And when citizens get information they hold leaders accountable
using information they have through the word of mouth.
Assembly- Through village assembly people express their views
and ideas. Also leaders explain duties, progress and any matter related to
village progress. Through this assembly leaders are hold accountable on their
action, work, and any matter concerns village.
Of Village Assembly
assembly is the one is the one of the pillars of village government other one
being village council. It is established
under local government Act no 7 of 1982. According the law meeting should be
conducted after every three month that means four times a year. All citizens 18
and above are suppose to attend meeting. On the assembly purpose is to discuss
matters concerning the village so for it to be effective all residents at
required age must attend, because they will be affected for whatever decision
has been agreed upon. Village assembly is conducted by chairman who is elected
after every five years.
assembly meeting should be informed seven (7) days prior the meeting has been
held. Date is on the village timetable
on the chairman’s office. Citizens are informed about the assembly through
fliers, banners and advertisements using speakers (in cars), on the village
notice board and word of mouth.
assembly effective at certain percentage. Example Tondoroni village at Kisarawe
district there are some elements which shows assembly are effective, because of
the availability of social services to the citizens. There water and
electricity at some area, there is education services primary school Tondoroni
shule ya msingi and other small social services.
of the few elements of development attendance of citizens village assembly in
reality is very low this is caused by most of the people to ignore this
assembly. They find it is waste of time and unproductive but this is just
ignorance because attending these meetings has huge impact on village
people in the village are not well informed about these meeting, timing,
location and agenda from the village committee makes assembly less effective.
Also failure of village leaders to fulfill or achieve or work on what was
discussed or agreed on last meeting makes villagers loose interest on attending
Function of Village Assembly:
elect officials to became member of village council, must be a citizen of the
and amend by –laws according to the need of the village
remove officials if they do not adhere to the laws of the village government.
make decision on all important matters concerning the village.
provide justice to the citizens according to laws
provide security to the village.
should be done to improve village government?
participation in all matters concerning village, let it be on village assembly
of elsewhere. Citizen participation increase leaders’ transparency and
accountability. And it also becomes easy for any policy implementation because they
were present when policy are selected and approved.
assembly dates, location and agenda should be clear to citizens which will
enable them to attend meeting and contribute accordingly for the development of
should be accountable, responsible, creative, innovative, and acceptable by
majority. In case of any matter concerning the village development when he
calls for meeting people respond positively because they trust him.
Community Publishing and Development Trust (2006): Strengthening citizen participation in local decision making,
Fingerprint Cooperative Ltd, Cape Town, South Africa.
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