0 INTRODUCTIONVillage government is a unit of local government inTanzania it exists under section 14 of local government Act No.8 and 7 of 1982respectively. Village government is registered according to sec no.22 of lawno.
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7 of local government .There should be not less than 250 families, and 1250citizens for the village to qualify to be registered. Village is registered byvillage registry who is elected by the Minister responsible for localgovernment. Before registering important requirements must be submitted to theregistry such as village boundaries, number of families in the village whichshall not be under 250, number of people who can work, work and main activitiesof the village, village land size, assets and essential services in the village,when the registry is satisfied with provided information, they register thevillage.Village government has two organ village assemblyand council.
According to the Act every village government must have villageassembly and village council. Village council contains 15 and 25 member, whoincludes chairperson who is elected after every five years, chairpersons of allvitongoji in the said area, and other members selected by village assembly.Village council is concerned with welfare and wellbeing of the citizens as wellas social and economic development of the village. Village assembly deals withall matters of policy making related to affairs of the village and alsoselection and removal of village council. The village government is thesmallest local government unit in Tanzania. 2.
0 DISCUSSION 2.1.1 Theoriesof Local Government· DemocraticParticipation Theory.Thistheory has been larger part contributed by John Stuart Mills through his workon utilitarianism, freedom and delegate government. He clarified that greatgovernment is representative government, since it energizes autonomy, value andsolidarity, and influences men to understand the significance requests of othermen, promote political training, cooperation and correspondence. Headditionally clarifies local government is a key part of majority rulegovernment (democratic), and uncovers intrinsic value of democracy payinglittle mind to the services it provides.
Government is great when allindividuals can participate. Local government gives closest thing to farreaching counsel and cooperation. Local government in most western countriessuch as Britain and USA, function to create democracy and deliver opportunitiesfor political participation to citizen as well as instruct and socialize thempolitically.
Panter (1953) explain participation is essential for democracy because it is thecommunity that people appreciate and acknowledge others views and learn art ofpractical politics. Theoryassumes that local government is a training ground for higher level politics. Theoryassumes participation is key to democracy. When all citizens participate inpublic affairs it promotes accountability and transparency. It promotes on theneed of citizens to have freedom. The theory can be relevance on localgovernment on the part of participation, because on village governmentparticipation is also a key for the development of the village as a whole. Thatis why one of the components of village government is village assembly throughwhich citizens participates on village matters.
Theoryhas been criticized by the scholars of efficiency services theory, theyexplains that democratic participation theory cannot be applicable in differentpolitical system in the same way especially in contemporary situation. Theoryhas also focus more on democracy rather provision of services which is one ofthe important function of village government to provide services to thecitizens. One of limitation.
· EfficiencyServices TheoryThe essential issue of efficiencyservices theory is the fundamentally or principle target of local government isto give services to local people. One of the researcher of this approach Frenchresearcher Langood (1953) clarified that democracy was the matter of thecountry state as a whole, matter of majority rule, equity and uniformity are thenorm standard. Local government conversely was worried about local contrastsand separation. Langood further explained it is not good to make localgovernment as place for political training and democracy, he says that localgovernment has provided very few political leader unlikely how democratictheory participation which explained local government is a ground for futurepolitical leaders. He explained residents are likely to learn about democracyfrom higher level and not local government. Sharpe (1970) gave an outstandingly strongcase for local governments in light of the fact that it was the effectiveadministrator for giving services thatare essential locally. He prescribed that the effective execution of theseservices is compelling to the point that in the case that local government doesnot exist, something different should be made in its put (to provide theservices), which means the local government is vital.
The principle practicalobligation of local governments in this theory is to proficiently completelocal obligations dispensed to it, at the most astounding efficiency rate. The main assumption of efficiencyservices theory is the function of local government is to provide services tolocals effectively. This is relatable to village government which servicesprovision is also essential. Village government provides different services toits residents according to needs. Village government provides services like safety and security of thecitizens, social services and also establishes small cooperative business forthe development of the village.This theory has limitation; it doesnot take into account citizen participation in local government in my casevillage government which is also essential for development of the village.
Because government needs to know the citizens needs and preference in order toprovide services efficiently according to the needs. So participation is alsoessential.For the above two theoriesdemocratic participation and efficiency services theory, for the village togrow and develop it needs both, democratic participation as well as servicesprovision. Because villagers needs to know the democracy which promote freedom,equality and uniformity and also needs services from the government. The twoideas are essential and more practical together. · DecentralizationTheoryIs the most famous theory in Localgovernment researches. It explains the shifting of power or authority from thecentral government to lower levels of government. The theory assumes that that decentralizationleads to good governance since it promotes participation, accountability andother things.
For the village governmentto exist central government needs to exercise decentralization. Differentscholars explains types of decentralization,deconcentration is shifting of low levelauthority to central government ,delegation this is assigning responsibilitiesto someone else, devolution this is delegation of authority from centralgovernment to low level such as local level, privatision is a shifting ofentity from government to private sector. 2.
1.2 Governance Structure Village GovernanceVillage government is a lower component of localgovernment in Tanzania. Village governance is to help residents on mattersconcerning village.
Village governance structure includes:§ Allcitizens not less than 18years old.§ Chairperson.§ Villagecouncil members between 15 and 25.§ Afisamtendaji2.1.3 CitizenParticipation in decision making Citizen participation is a process where citizensare involved in decision making on village matters.
According to (Stewart 1995),citizen participation is very important for society development. This is a waygovernance is shared with citizens, they give their inputs and they are workedon. 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 meetingcitizens participates and gets chance to share their views , ides on the matterthat affecting them as member of that village.Importanceof Citizens participation.· It helps citizens to know problems inthe community and find ways to resolve problems.
· It helps citizens to know their place inthe society.· Citizen participation enhances spirit ofcooperation in the village and increase trust among members of the society.· It helps government to get different andnew ides from the citizens and also exchange information during decision makingprocess.
· Citizen participation in decisionmaking, policy formulation makes it easier for the government to implementpolicy, because all citizens agreed upon it.· Citizen participation helps to createaccountable and responsible leaders and citizens. Leaders will do their job aswell as citizens as agreed.
· It also makes citizens to know villagerevenues and expenditures. Although citizenparticipation is important for development process in village it is alsoexpensive and time consuming. Decision that would have been reached in15minutes with 2 or 5 people it might take an hour or two with 10 or morepeople, because different people have different perspectives of the same issue.
2.1.4 LeadersAccountability Mechanism· Citizenparticipation- Citizens participation in villageassembly and any other public hearing, helps them to know responsibilities bothways official and citizens. So when officials fail to do their responsibilitiesthey have to answer to citizens why? So this helps officials to become moreaccountable to their responsibilities.· Oppositionpolitical part- Chairman of the village is a politicalleader, he is selected after every five years.
Opposition political parties arealso mechanism to hold leaders accountability, because they uncover and showfailures or wrong doing of the party in power. · Wordof Mouth- For the citizens to know what leaders are up to orwhat leaders do they need information. At village level information can bethrough word of mouth though at higher level (District or country) can bethrough media. And when citizens get information they hold leaders accountableusing information they have through the word of mouth.· VillageAssembly- Through village assembly people express their viewsand ideas. Also leaders explain duties, progress and any matter related tovillage progress. Through this assembly leaders are hold accountable on theiraction, work, and any matter concerns village.2.
1.5 EffectivenessOf Village Assembly Villageassembly is the one is the one of the pillars of village government other onebeing village council. It is establishedunder local government Act no 7 of 1982. According the law meeting should beconducted after every three month that means four times a year.
All citizens 18and above are suppose to attend meeting. On the assembly purpose is to discussmatters concerning the village so for it to be effective all residents atrequired age must attend, because they will be affected for whatever decisionhas been agreed upon. Village assembly is conducted by chairman who is electedafter every five years.
Villageassembly meeting should be informed seven (7) days prior the meeting has beenheld. Date is on the village timetableon the chairman’s office. Citizens are informed about the assembly throughfliers, banners and advertisements using speakers (in cars), on the villagenotice board and word of mouth.Villageassembly effective at certain percentage. Example Tondoroni village at Kisarawedistrict there are some elements which shows assembly are effective, because ofthe availability of social services to the citizens. There water andelectricity at some area, there is education services primary school Tondoronishule ya msingi and other small social services.Despiteof the few elements of development attendance of citizens village assembly inreality is very low this is caused by most of the people to ignore thisassembly.
They find it is waste of time and unproductive but this is justignorance because attending these meetings has huge impact on villagedevelopment.Alsopeople 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 wasdiscussed or agreed on last meeting makes villagers loose interest on attendingvillage assembly. Function of Village Assembly:§ Toelect officials to became member of village council, must be a citizen of thesaid village.§ Makeand amend by –laws according to the need of the village§ Toremove officials if they do not adhere to the laws of the village government.§ Tomake decision on all important matters concerning the village.§ Toprovide justice to the citizens according to laws§ Toprovide security to the village.
Whatshould be done to improve village government?1. Citizenparticipation in all matters concerning village, let it be on village assemblyof elsewhere. Citizen participation increase leaders’ transparency andaccountability. And it also becomes easy for any policy implementation because theywere present when policy are selected and approved.2. Villageassembly dates, location and agenda should be clear to citizens which willenable them to attend meeting and contribute accordingly for the development ofthe village.3.
Leadersshould be accountable, responsible, creative, innovative, and acceptable bymajority. In case of any matter concerning the village development when hecalls for meeting people respond positively because they trust him. REFERENCE:AfricaCommunity Publishing and Development Trust (2006): Strengthening citizen participation in local decision making,Fingerprint Cooperative Ltd, Cape Town, South Africa.Constitutionof United Republic of Tanzania of 1977.D.M.Hill Democracy Theories and Local Government (Great Britain; Allen & Unwin, 1974) especially Pp 20-25Haque,A.
(2012). Local Government Discretionand Accountability: A DiagnosticFramework for Local Governance.LocalGovernment (district authority) Act, 1982.Luhende,J.
(2011). Taarifa na Maarifa yaUendeshaji wa Halmashauri za Mitaa, Kitini.Mwakagenda,H. (2005) Ushiriki wa Wananchi na Uongoziwa Serekali za Mitaa ( Vitongoji, vijiji na Mitaa) 8th Edition .Stewart,J. (1995). Understanding the managementof local government: It’s specialpurpose, conditions and tasks (2nded).
London: Pitman publishingW.J.MMackenzie, Theories of Local Government (London, 1964) CH5Yilmaz,Y, Berris, Y. & Serrano, R. (2008) Local Government Discretion andAccountability: A Diagnostic Frameworkfor Local Governance .