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Departures from Post-Colonial Authoritarianism

Analysis of System Change with a Focus on Tanzania


Elke Grawert

This study sends the reader on an exciting journey into social and political life in Africa. It gives space to the voices of Tanzanian villagers, rural associations, branches of political parties and local government officers and their views of socio-economic and political change during the 1990s. This authentic picture is combined with a thorough sociological and political economy analysis showing the dynamics in the relations between state components and social forces in the context of neo-liberal globalization. The book is not only attractive as a country case study. It contains a deep analysis of the paradigmatic shift of African political systems from post-colonial rule to governance in response to neo-liberalism and provides new insights in processes of political transformation.


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7 Power Shifts between Political Institutions: The Stony Path to Devolution 313


313 7 Power Shifts between Political Institutions: The Stony Path to Devolution The rule of CCM in Tanzania has remained unchallenged, because the party and government leadership has managed to retain control over the process of political transformation and made gradual adaptations to popular demands for political reform. In the national arena, these demands have been satisfied to some extent by admitting oppositional parties. The local arenas, however, pose different challenges which require long-term attention and comprehensive measures. The main challenges are an appropriate supply of social and economic services, protection of the citizens from insecurity and a reversal of the bad experiences with the previous decentralization programme. Because the programme of the 1970s had been limited to deconcentrating the central government and improved neither services nor the general performance of the state, the consequence was an overall disinterest in the re-introduction of local governments after 1984. Nevertheless, the respective laws form the basis on which several reform programmes were launched during the 1990s and 2000s. The purpose and functions of local government, as laid down in the constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania since 1982/84, are as follows: ‘The purpose of having local government authorities is to transfer authority to the people. Local government authorities shall have the right and power to participate, and to involve the people in the planning and implementation of development programmes within their respective areas and generally throughout the country.’ (URT, 1998, Art. 146 (1), Act No. 15 of 1984). ‘... (A) local government...

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