Local Governments Authorities face an up hill task in Tanzania

Posted on | januari 30, 2012 | No Comments

It has been established that the decentralization by devolution (D by D), process that was meant to improve good governance in Tanzania is merely a theoretical framework which is yet to be implemented.

This assertion is due to a number of discrepancies which have been noted during the implementation according to researches that were conducted on the Local Governments Authorities (LGAs) performance just recently.

The results were presented by Cleophus Manyangu, legal officer at the Association of Local Authority of Tanzania (ALAT), during the Policy Forum Breakfast discussion at the British Council on Friday Last week.

He said that the purpose of decentralization was to bring the Government closer to the people, but in a big number of cases the working of some senior officials is an obstacle towards that goal.

“The purpose is to improve quality, access, and equitable to public service delivery particularly the poor provided through the reformed autonomous LGAs” he said.

However he admitted that the main problems are scarcity of funds in fulfilling projects at the districts, wards and village level, ignorance, poor management and in some cases corruption and embezzlement of public funds.

The last two problems have been reported in several Public Expenditure Tracking Surveys (PETS). Good news however is that the D by D process in some cases has been a catalyst for change in some areas like Rungwe, Mbeya due to the fact that the LGAs have been given discretion to outsource revenue collection which has improved revenue collection.

Commenting on the same the discussant at the debate Prof Max Mmuya from the Political Science Department of the University of Dar es Salaam said that he has also conducted various researches on the same just to realize that there are a lot of declarations but very little implementation.

“I have been to Hanang, Iringa, Mtwara, Muleba, Maswa, Karatu and Kyela in Mbeya region but the situation is almost the same, “he remarked. One of the biggest discrepancies which he observed was that corruption has remained a main stay in many local governments in Tanzania.

Prof Mmuya observed that people who control the LGAs are not necessarily those who are recognized by the law, but there are a lot of machinations by people who have projects which needs to be sponsored by these authorities.

He equated the situation with what is happening with the commuter bus owners in Dar es Salaam, the major commercial city which essentially remains the capitol of the country after shifting it to Dodoma for a number of years. These unseen people have full control of their businesses partly because some of these busses belong to the political bigwigs.

Contributing to the debate attendants said that there is a need to establish structures that supports the establishments of the LGAs. These are supposed to ensure there is smooth operation without interruption from the Central Government which at times, tends to impose certain decisions in order to favour the ruling party which has remained dominantly in power for over fifty years since the independence of Tanzania.

It was noted that economic interests and other personal gains have fermented for the co-habitation of leaders in the LGAs regardless of their ideological differences.

AUTHOR: Elias Mhegera
URL: http://mhegeraelias.blogspot.com
E-MAIL: mhegeraelias [at] yahoo.com


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