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THE CREEPING DECENTRALIZATION IN TANZANIA: IS THE STRATEGY ACCORDED FULL SUPPORT BY THE GOVERNMENT?


Cliford Ringo

School of Public Administration and Management, Mzumbe University, Mzumbe

Zuena Kilugwe Khamis

School of Public Administration and Management, Mzumbe University, Mzumbe

Andrea Peter

School of Public Administration and Management, Mzumbe University, Mzumbe

Rukia Pazi

School of Public Administration and Management, Mzumbe University, Mzumbe


ABSTRACT

Decentralization by devolution is the strategy which has gained much popularity in the political and administrative arena in Tanzania. This strategy aims at devolving powers and authority from the central government to the local government to facilitate participation and quick decisions for local development.  Since adoption of this strategy in 1997, it is more than a decade now but yet the sought powers and authority is significantly held by central government. This paper examines six case studies from three councils; Morogoro urban, Morogoro rural and Kilosa district to enlighten the state of affairs of decentralization specifically on community’s autonomy in airing their voices through participation in development projects using Opportunity & Obstacle for Development (O & OD) strategy. The paper  (Ringo, Khamis, Peter, & Pazi)employed secondary data analysis from various documents. It was found that community voice was minimally reflected in the Council Development Plans (CDP) and in most cases development projects implemented at lower levels were superimposed by the central government. In rare cases, peoples’ wish would come into reality when they coincide with the ‘national priority’. We argue in this paper that decentralization in Tanzania is creeping as reflected in the cases analyzed.  This is a manifestation that the government is not much supporting it. We therefore recommend for ideal devolution of more autonomy to the grass roots level in a move to expedite pace of decentralization and make it more realistic.


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