Politico-Administrative Relations in Tanzanian Local Government Authorities
79 Pages Posted: 9 Feb 2015 Last revised: 17 Jun 2015
Date Written: February 7, 2015
Over decades, many countries have committed to create local governments in order to bring the government closer to the citizens. As entities, local government authorities are created to consolidate and give powers to the local people to participate in planning and implementing development programmes (Burns, 1994; Litvack et al., 1998). The local governments operate under the leadership of councillors who are politically elected and bureaucrats, the professionals, who are appointed to implement the policies. The theories on politico administrative relations suggest that the councillors and bureaucrats do interact and their interaction influence the formal structure. This influence can either strengthen or weaken the relationship (Jacobsen, 2006).
Although the councillors and administrators need to cooperate in serving the communities, they do not always do as expected. There are incidences which seem to indicate that the bureaucrats undermine the councillors. In principle the councillors have a role to approve the plans or agenda and the bureaucrats, on the other hand, prepare the plan or agenda and if the councillors disapprove or change the agenda, the bureaucrats will not support the implementation. Also the bureaucrats depend on councillors in case the implementation of plan solely depends on community contribution. The main thesis of this research was therefore to describe the nature of relationships that exists between bureaucrats and councillors in local government authorities in the context of decentralisation by devolution in Tanzania. In doing this, the case study design was viewed as appropriate. The findings from the two cases suggest that the relations between politicians and administrators vary from one context to another. The two cases portray a mixture of relations between the two politicians and administrators. Such relations seem to incline within the three models (classical, village and adversarial) and Mvomero case, in this research, seems to have more adversarial relations compared to Kinondoni one. The explanation which may be used to support such a situation is the diverse background in terms of education qualifications between the politicians and administrators in Mvomero District Council rather than their political orientation.
Keywords: administration, politics, decentralisation
JEL Classification: D72, D73
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation