External Oversight Agencies Need Protecting: The Role of the Tanzanian Parliament
In Tanzania, executive power curtails and overshadows legislative power and thwarts the separation of powers. Additionally, the executive’s power within the legislature limits the potential for scrutiny and oversight. Anticorruption bodies, such as the ombudsman, media and civil society organizations, provide important anticorruption resources to the legislature, but a significant number of them are also under the control of the executive. Maintaining the sanctity of these bodies requires that they are freed from political influence. Curtailing executive dominance in the legislature should be a long term objective addressed through constitutional amendment. However, any attempt to shrink the power of the executive is likely to meet strong opposition, so it is important to increase consultation and have a consensus with all the arms of state to make the amendment realizable. Legislative and executive support for the independence in the external institutions that support legislative oversight should be a short term goal. Stringent laws that effectively censor the media should be loosened, to accommodate the watchdog role of the media. Efforts towards making anti-corruption state institutions independent and free from political leadership interference should be the priority of governance stakeholders.
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