Tanzania: New Dar City Structure in Perspective

THE move to dissolve the Dar es Salaam City Council is envisaged to bring multiple benefits to the country, including improved efficiency in service delivery.

President John Magufuli on Wednesday dissolved the Dar es Salam City Council and promoted Ilala Municipal to a City Council status. He said the move aimed at ensuring good expenditure of the taxpayers' money.

Academicians, local authorities' experts and politicians have applauded the government decision, saying restructuring of Dar es Salaam City Council is an advantage and has not in any way affected provision of services.

Association of Local Authorities of Tanzania (ALAT) Secretary General, Mr Elirehema Kaaya told 'Daily News' in an interview that municipalities have various departments and units dealing with agriculture and fisheries, city planning, finance, water, health and education among others, noting that Dar es Salaam City had no such departments.

Mr Kaaya explained that Dar es Salaam City Council had no jurisdiction with clear borders, which makes it an advantage.

He said that one of the advantages of dissolving Dar es Salaam City is that the running costs will now be channeled into provision of services in the new City Council.

"Dar City Council was causing unnecessary expenditure ... members of the Full Council were from all municipalities, and each municipality was being represented by three ward councillors ...if a City Council Mayor is a ward councillor from any of the municipalities, he is being paid allowance if he attends a meeting at municipal and City Council ... This is double payment," he said.

He said administratively, despite reducing running cost, staff who were working at the city council will be allocated to other municipal councils which had shortage of workers.

Mr Kaaya, however, noted that Dar es Salaam City Council had sister cities in different parts of the world, such as Hamburg in German, Shanghai, Yiwu and Changzhou cities in China.

"The communication with these sister cities was channeled to Dar City Council Director and was the one to decide where to channel the note, either Temeke, Kinondoni, Ilala, among others ... but now the communication will be direct, and this has reduced unnecessary bureaucracy," he said.

Senior lecturer of economics at Mzumbe University, Dr Elinaza Mkuna commended the government decision to dissolve Dar es Salaam City, cautioning that there should be smooth transition to the new municipality which is taking over the city council.

He said that the move will increase service and the budget which was being allocated to the city council will now be channeled to development projects.

University of Dar es Salaam Lecturer in Economics, Prof Humphrey Moshi said that the government decision to restructure Dar es Salaam City will increase savings and bring tangible results.

He said that since the move aimed at reducing unnecessary expenditure, the money saved will be channeled to other development projects.

"Basing on economic perspective, the restructuring aims at reducing unproductive expenditure, this means that you are increasing savings that could be spent in other development activities and bring tangible results," Prof Moshi said.

Former Regional Administrative Secretary for Songwe, Mr David Kafulila said that the decision by President John Magufuli to restructure Dar es Salaam City aimed at reducing operation expenditure and increase efficiency.

He said that it is obvious that Dar es Salaam City Council was causing loss to the government because it lacked area of representation and power over other municipalities.

Mr Kafulila noted that that projects which were managed by the city council could also be overseen by municipalities in which the projects were located.

"There was no need for the city council to manage the projects because they were found within the municipalities," he said. He said that lack of power over the municipalities was a source of conflicts between the city council and the municipalities.

Mr Kafulila said until it is dissolved, the city council was managing various projects, including Ubungo Bus Terminal, Benjamin Mkapa Secondary School, Pugu Dampo Site and Dar es Salaam Development Corporation (DDC).

Speaking at the launching of Kijazi Interchange on Wednesday, President Magufuli said it is wastage of resources to have ward councillors at the City Council who are being allocated with a budget but they don't have any development projects.

"I want one municipality to be upgraded to a city and others will retain their status... I think Ilala can be upgraded to such status, but this will also depend on other factors... this system has been applied in other cities like Dodoma," Dr Magufuli said, before effecting the changes.

He said that allocating a budget for councillors at City Council, who just represent their municipalities, is misusing resources that could fund other development activities.

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