Local government is a component of country’s
government which concerns with people’s matter in a certain locality. Tanzania
has higher level local authority which includes councils and township
authority, and lower level local authority which includes ward, village and
vitongoji urban authority. 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.  Mtaa/ Village government exist under section
14 of local government Act No.8 and 7 of 1982 respectively. Village government
is a unit of local government in Tanzania.

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 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 by village assembly,
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. To qualify for
registration a local authority must comprise at least 250 households per
village.56 In addition to that, the registrar must be satisfied that the people
of that village have really settled in that area and are not moving from one
place to another.57 The registrar of the village is a public officer appointed
by the Minister responsible for local government.58 The law is silent about.






of  Local Government

Participation Theory.

theory has been great contributed by John Stuart Mills through his work on
utilitarianism, liberty and representative government. He explained that good
government is representative government, because it encourages independence,
equity and solidarity, and makes men to realize the importance demand of other
men, promote political education, participation and communication. He further
explains local government is a key component of democracy, and reveals innate
value of democracy regardless of the services it provides. Government is good
when all people can take part. Local government provides nearest thing to
widespread consultation and participation. 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
practical politics.

Services Theory

Scholars of Efficiency theory
believe that the theory of democracy participation above by Mills does not apply
to distinct political system in the same way especially politics in modern
realities. The central point of efficiency services theory is the primarily or
main objective of local government is to provide services to locals. One of the
scholar of this approach French scholar Langood (1953) explained that democracy
was the affairs of   the nation-state as
a whole issue of majority rule, equality and uniformity are  the 
norm.  Local government in contrast
was concerned with local differences and separation. The two are distinct they
were accidentally developed together in 19th century.  He farther explained that it was a mistake to
explain local government as a setting for political education and democracy. To
Langood, the local government area has brought out very few national Leaders.
Local politics
is more likely to fortify limit
sectional interests than an appreciation of majority rule government. The citizen is more likely to learn about democracy
from national politics and national issues. Arguing in the same vein, Moulin points
out that local government is so limited
while national objectives are more
extensive in scale. Local involvement
and information is barely suitable to national issues. Sharpe
(1970) provided a exceptionally
strong case for local
governments on the grounds that it was the most effective
operator for providing these services that are essentially local. He recommended that the effective performance of these services is so compelling that in case
local government does not exist, something else will
have to be made in its put,
meaning the institution is crucial. Even
a decentralized shape of national government cannot
play this part since of the
level of coordination local government can manufacture cannot be attempted by
such an elective. The primary
functional duty of local governments hence is to productively carry out nearby obligations designated to it, at
the most elevated productivity


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. Different scholars explains types 
 of decentralization,







 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:

§  All
citizens not less than 18years old.

§  Chairperson.

§  Village
council members between 15 and 25.

§  Afisa

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
the society.

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.


Although citizen
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.



Accountability Mechanism

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 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. Very few people attend


Function of Village Assembly:

§  To
elect officials to became member of village council, must be a citizen of the
said village.

§  Make
and amend by –laws according to the need of the village

§  To
remove officials if they do not adhere to the laws of the village government.

§  To
make decision on all important matters concerning the village.

§  To
provide justice to the citizens according to laws

§  To
provide security to the village.







1.      Citizen
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.

2.      Village
assembly dates, location and agenda should be clear to citizens which will
enable them to attend meeting and contribute accordingly for the development of
the village.