In spite of possessing a relatively robust legal framework in the areas of anticorruption, procurement, and anti-money laundering, persistently high levels of corruption have affected Tanzania for decades.
The research has focused on the macro level, informal mechanisms through which the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party has built and successfully maintained a monopoly on political power in Tanzania since its independence. It particularly focuses on describing an informal governance regime in which networks of elites (referred to locally as Mitandao) have contended for power within the CCM. The report confirms that practices among the Mitandao align with the informal patterns of co-optation, control and camouflage described above. These practices have been fuelled to a large extent by the imperatives of contending for elections and ensuring elite cohesion and political stability.
However, the evidence also indicates that significant change may be underway in the realm of anti-corruption in Tanzania. This is the result of measures undertaken since President John Magufuli came to power in 2015, which have included reforms of the public sector and of the CCM as well as a strong stance against corrupt public officials.
The country report describes how networked governance originated with the creation of hierarchical and centralized structures that co-opted major social groups by formally incorporating them into the hegemonic party. Examples of individuals who resisted show how informal control was already becoming a key instrument of governance, used to purge the party from dissenters and defuse potential opposition movements. It is key to underscore that under the Nyerere presidency co-optation and control practices were guided to a large extent by the ideological -socialist- orientation of the government.
Informal networks began to take shape as a means to contend for the presidency, where real competition took place within the hegemonic party. The apex of that network building process was represented by the Wanamtandao network commanded by Jakaya Kikwete and Edward Lowassa, which was extraordinarily successful in co-opting leading political as well as economic personalities (and by implication their respective followings) and therefore, without much of a challenge, secured the presidential election in 2005 for Kikwete.
Interestingly, the research suggests that the disintegration of the Wanamtandao network can be traced to its very success. The reason being that delivering on the expectations of such wide-ranging groups of supporters and managing their informal practices against the formal requirements of public office proved extremely challenging.
Download the Tanzania country report.