Understanding Political – Administrative Relations in Local Governments in Tanzania: A Case of Tanga City Council

Kelvin M. Njunwa


Political-administrative relations are attracting the attention of researchers in the current public administration domain in developing countries. Local governments in Tanzania operate based on two types of officials namely; politicians and administrators and whose performance is largely dependent on the relationship of the two. The purpose of the paper was to provide a clear picture of the political-administrative relation in local governments. The study adopted a case study design by purposefully selecting Tanga City Council. A total of fifty (50) respondents were selected purposefully based on their knowledge and experience in working with the elected officials. The methods of data collection used include, survey method, interview, observation, Focus Group Discussion and Key Focus Interview (KFIs). Qualitative data were analysed using content analysis and quantitative data were analysed using SPSS whereby descriptive statistics were computed. The study revealed that the relationship between the elected and the appointed officials is characterized by conflict, distrust and interference that negatively affect employee’s performance in local government. Further, the study revealed that poor relations is highly associated with conflict of interests, distrust, task interdependence, political interference, lack of education on the side of politicians, poor communication and partisan politics. The study recommends that the government should have a regular monitoring of the relations between the two and encourage cooperation. Also the elected officials need to be trained on how to perform their roles in their areas of jurisdiction. The study recommend further that the elected and the appointed officials should  perform their duties for public interests, increase the level of trust and do away with partisan politics in performing local government functions.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/jpag.v8i2.13324

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