Politics of Governance in Tanzania


concept of how politics relate to public administration is important in the
changing political and governance system in Tanzania. The relationship is
viewed in different perspectives including policy
making process, separation of power and degree of interaction. In policy making process,
politicians define objectives (goals) and formulate policies and laws while
public administrators translate policies and laws formulated by politicians and
put them into actions in conformity with legislative instructions. The role of
politics in policy making process is to provide leadership, oversight and
setting the task for administration. The Public administrators play the role of
drafting policy texts and to provide neutral competence, professionalism and
ethics to policy formulation and implementation. Policy leadership links
politicians to citizens, while legislative oversight links them to public
administrators. On the other side of the policy process stands public
administration whose primary responsibility is to enable concrete
implementation of the policies in the line with the requirements.

outstanding relationship between politics and administration can be vividly
explained by the principal-agent theory in which politicians act the principals
and administrators are agents. Politicians as “principals” put agreement with
the administrators as “agents” about the standard of service to be provided to
the public. Politicians establish mechanisms for service evaluation,
measurements and reporting of the result of services. Political leaders expect
administrators to perform according to agreed standard of service. In some
cases politicians as principal sign performance contract with agents
(administrators) to ensure effective implementation of the goals set out.

Tanzania the concept of separation of power is part of the constitutionalism
and constitution. The constitution of Tanzania of 1977, provides three pillars
of the government, the Executive, Legislative and the Judiciary. The Executive
is composed of both politicians and administrators, the Legislative is purely
political while the Judiciary is purely administrators. The proponents of the
separation school of thought gives a clear structural separation of power
between elected and administrative officials to eliminate or reduce unnecessary
political influences on public administration. In such system f separation of
power neither individual members nor the executive or legislative bypasses the
hierarchy of authority in giving direction to administrators.

exercise power of governing while administrators exercise power of organizing.
Politicians have the role of directing, controlling and managing the affairs of
the state on behalf of the citizens. On the other hand, administrators are
responsible for organizing the provision of public services. This relationship
provides an interaction between politicians and administration at all
administrative levels. For example at the national level the executive and
senior administrators (Ministers and Permanent Secretaries) have direct
interaction in the management of the country. In contract, there is little
interaction or contract between members of parliament and public administrators
with the exclusion of ministers.

Politicians-administration dichotomy makes administrators feel that what is
demanded by politicians cannot improve their affairs except, they aim at
ensuring politicians remain in their position and facilitate the possibility of
being re-elected in the future.

between politicians and administration can be viewed as an organization
conflict since politicians are hierarchical leaders of administration as well
as employers of administrators.

ramification of the politics and administration dichotomy in Tanzania:


(2001) explained that the administrators and politician have relationship therefore
during practice both need to respect each other for the betterment of an organization.
Furthermore, according to  (Shafritz,2004)
they viewed this relation of autocrats (politician) and the public servant on a
perspective that both sacrifices  on
making sure that they attain goals of the organizations however the dynamism
occurred is “being something” (the nobility) and being “able to do something”
(ministry officials and other officials). It is due to this resulted to
increase the governing people’s dependence on the officials.


Example; the negative perception  between both politician  and administrator on the decision to take
while performing duty which  have
conflict of  interest on the decision that
will be made


Robert S., and Watson, Douglas J. (1995) explained that the
changes are inevitable because nowadays the focus have been change. The
dichotomy is no longer with the nobility with officials but due to increase of
democracy in many countries the dichotomy is with those who are elected
democratically with the citizen versus government employees (Public Servants).


In Tanzania Context the way politician
are conducting they are daily duties reflect what the proponent of the politics
and administration theory elaborated (ibid).The fifth regime in Tanzania shows
that the politicians drive decision on policy making and continue monitoring
decision up the implementation process. The monitoring aspect of the decision
made by politician are done in good faith and does not consider some time the
administration opinion forexample the decision to remove or shift some of the
service at Muhimbili National Hospital to Mlonganzira publically it help to
decongest the National Hospital but administrator may find it difficult to
operate in two hospital with the same manpower. 


The New Public Management approach  which invented 
instrument which are used even in the current regime such as result
measurements, reporting systems, rating systems and accreditation systems and
similar measures are intended to reduce the information disadvantage of
politics, and incentives such as bonus models, incentive agreements,
performance-linked pay (Schedler and Proeller, 2000).


Therefore, Tanzania politics reflect
what the proponent of the theory of politics- administration dichotomy raised. In
Tanzania politics set goals to be achieved this are derived from the need of the
community while, the public servant implement the decision made by politics.


authority of government and constitutionalism: Does the will and power of
citizens count? Why? Country case studies: The US, UK, Tanzania and Kenya.




future of governance in Tanzania: can we install good governance in Tanzania?
What are the opportunities and obstacles?’
































Schedler, Isabella Proeller (200) New Public Management Volume 2132 of UTB für

Wissenschaft : Uni-Taschenbücher · Volume 2132 of UTB für
Wissenschaft. Publisher, Haupt.

Robert S., and Watson, Douglas J. (1995) “A Case for Reinterpreted
Dichotomy of

Politics and Administration as a
Professional Standard in Council-Manager Government.”Public Administration
Review, 55:3:231-39.


J.M., A.C. Hyde, S.J. Parks, (2004). Classics of Public Administration:

Wadsworth, Belmont.


Jay M. and Albert C. Hyde, eds., (1992).Classics of public administration: 3d

Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole.


James S. (2001), “The Myth of the Dichotomy: Complementarities of Politics

Administration in the Past and
Future of Public Administration.” Public Administration Review61:2:176-83.
The Journal of African & Asian Local Government Studies 75.


The Constitution of the United
Republic of Tanzania (1977)   

 United Republic of Tanzania, Country
Governance Profile, May 2005.

Tanzania Open Government
Partnership. Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) Pregress

Report 2014-2015.

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