Open Journal of Social Sciences
Vol.05 No.04(2017), Article ID:75944,18 pages

Land Access and Corruption Practices in the Peri-Urban Areas of Tanzania: A Review of Democratic Governance Theory

Said Nuhu1,2, Chakupewa Joseph Mpambije3,4

1Institute of Human Settlements Studies, Ardhi University, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

2Swedish University of Agriculture Science, Uppsala, Sweden

3Mkwawa University College of Education, Iringa, Tanzania

4University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Copyright © 2017 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution International License (CC BY 4.0).

Received: March 18, 2017; Accepted: April 27, 2017; Published: April 30, 2017


The level of corruption practices in the process of accessing land in peri-urban areas is agreeably enormous in Tanzania. The Democratic Governance Theory (DGT) anticipated curbing corruption in land related issues through advocating equality, equity, transparency and rule of law among others. This study aims to find out the extent at which the Democratic Governance Theory is upheld in Tanzania in a bid to fight corruption in the entire process of accessing land among the peri-urban dwellers. The study was conducted in Dar es Salaam City and deployed a case study methodology approach. Primary data employed household survey using questionnaire and in-depth interview with key informants where as secondary data collected includes government reports, research reports, books and articles. Findings from the study reveal that, despite emphasis of DGT’s by the Government of Tanzania corruption is still serious problem in land accessibility. Land accessibility procedure was seen to be complicated, non-transparent and too bureaucratic. Lastly, anti- corruption agencies were ineffective and inefficient, thus fail to check corrupt practices in the land circles. The study concluded that DGT has not adequately helped the country in the fight against corruption. The Government of Tanzania should therefore, consider comprehensive and participatory reforms in land tenure regime, land accessibility procedure and anti-corruption agencies. It is imperative to integrate modern information technology in the process of accessing land, so as to reduce frequent contact between land seekers and government officers.


Corruption, Access to Land, Peri-Urban, Democratic Governance Theory

1. Introduction

Corruption is not a new phenomenon; it has been there since time immemorial such that in all ancient empires like Babylonia, Egypt, Greece and Rome suffered from this vice (Dahlstrom, 2009 [1] ). No country is said to be free from corruption as evidenced by Corruption Perception Index which revealed that two third of countries worldwide scored below 50 which signifies that corruption is a serious problem (UNDP, 1998; Transparency International, 2012 [2] [3] ). The level of corruption, both in developed and developing countries has greatly affected delivery of public services enormously and has transcended land accessibility (Gray and Kaufman, 1998; Transparency International and UNFAO, 2011 [4] [5] ). Studies show that corruption is more prevalent in developing countries with no sector being immune on the problem (Pellegrin and Gerlagh, 2008; Svessan, 2005 [6] [7] ). Corruption practices are pervasive in sectors like procurement, tax administration, service delivery, the police and judiciary. In Tanzania for instance, Transparency International (2013) [8] reveals that most corrupt sectors were police (78%), judiciary (86%), health sector (79%), civil service (75%) and the education system (74%).

Corruption in accessing land takes on different forms in different countries and contexts ranging from petty and grand corruption (Koechlin et al., 2016 [9] ). Petty corruption in the land accessibility is notably practiced by low ranking civil servants demanding bribes in small sums of money for basic administrative procedure (Transparency International, 2012; Nuhu, 2013 [3] [10] ). Grand land corruption is mainly practiced by politicians or higher ranking public officials and involves a large sum of money. In this kind of corruption, laws, regulation or policies are bent or changed to suit their demands or to create conducive environment for corruption. Such grand corruption may be given in form of cash or land in which money is deposited in personal account or he/she pays little amount of money to own large part of the land at the expenses of the majority (Begovic, 2005; Ngware and Hoseah, 2010 [11] [12] ). Regardless its form, corruption has a devastating impact on access to land which includes reduction of land investment, increased cost and exclusion of the poor people in the process of accessing land (Otusanya, 2011 [13] ). On the whole, land corruptions degrade land governance system and threaten the hope of the people for a better quality of life and a more promising future (Wolforwitz, 2007 [14] ).

The problem of land accessibility, being exacerbated by incidence of corruption, is severally much more in urban than rural areas. A number of reasons have been aired for the continued existing corruption in land issues (see for example, Garba, 1993; De Sardan, 1999; Catula, et al., 2004; Ngware and Hoseah, 2010 [12] [15] [16] [17] ). It is understood that land is a fixed resource, while population growth is continuously and rapidly escalating especially in the urban areas. In turn, demand for land for investment has been on the increase, leading to the commercialisation of land in peri-urban areas. Also, the problem of incompetency and unsuitability of existing land administration systems, especially in peri-urban areas was seen to accentuate problem associated with corruption practices in land (Garba, 1993 [15] ). Also, socio-economic changes have, in many places, eroded land accessibility systems, as well as institutions that have traditionally administered land rights (De Sardan, 1999 [16] ).

Tanzania is among the developing countries which have suffered significantly due to corrupt practices in land accessibility. For instance, the Warioba Commission of 1996 which laid on the foundation for combating corruption in Tanzania, identified land accessibility in Tanzania as an area which is rife with corruption inter alia because of existing land tenure systems (URT, 1996 [18] ). Moreover, Ngware and Hosea (2010 [12] ) observe an increase of bribes which has affected the process of accessing land, especially in the allocation and distribution of plots in peri-urban areas of major cities. There have been increases of bribe cases nationwide reported to the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) concerning corruption in accessing land (URT, 2007 [19] ). Of worse, the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development (MLHS) is implicated among the leading corrupt institutions in Tanzania (LHRC, 2010 and 2011 [20] and [21] ). For instance, the Ministry was ranked in the seventh position by the East African Bribery Index in 2011 as the most corrupt institution. Indeed, corruption in the land sector in Tanzania seems to have broken into an open ground.

Land Accessibility and Democratic Governance Theory: Contending Perspectives

The Democratic Governance Theory (DGT) expounds the importance governance in all issues of public services delivery and accessibility to resources such as land. The DGT has been championed by the World Bank which stresses the importance of minimal governance control by allowing other actors to have an equal play in the public service delivery. As such, the theory calls for accountability, fairness, rules of law, participation, equity, equality etc. Since its inception, the theory has however bred two contending views among scholars. Some scholars, such as Pierre (2000) [22] ; Meagher (2009) [23] ; Alamgir et al., (2006) [24] and Kombe (2010) [25] are in favour of the DGT arguing that it can simplify provision and delivery of public service, as well as accessibility to resources such as land. Other scholars including Tanzi (1998), [26] Mbuh (2006) [27] and Court et al., (2002) [28] have strongly criticised the theory underscoring several weakness that in their view cannot lead to smooth provision of service and delivery of public services including accessibility of land when applied mostly in African context.

Scholars who argue in favour of DGT stress that the theory is capable of bringing together different actors together for one common goal since DGT is concerned with creating the conditions for ordered rule and collective action (Stoker, 1998 [29] ; Peter and Pierre, 1998 [30] ; Milward and Provan, 2000 [31] ). It is asserted further that when different actors’ meets together can directly impact their ability to mobilise resources, promote cooperation, build and sustain partnership which enhances provision of public goods. Pierre (2000) [22] notes that important actors in the DGT include the state, political actors, institutions, interest groups, civil society, NGOs and transitional organisations. All these actors are dependent upon each other for achievement of collective action, and thus, must exchange resources and negotiate shared understanding of ultimate programme goal (Legaspi, 2005) [32] . Thus, when these actors combine their efforts together can lead into effective and efficient elimination of evils like corruption in public service delivery and accessibility to land in particular. UNE- SCAP (2001) [33] highlights important actors in peri-urban areas to include national/provincial government decision makers; international actors, multinational corporations, appointed local decision makers and formal business decision makers. Others are elected local officials, media, middle level government officers, national and local education providers and expert private sector employees, NGOs, SBOs and CSOs. The last group among actors are like daily wage earners, low level government employees, workers in the informal sector and women (UNESCAP, 2001 [33] ; Masoi and Norman, 2010 [34] ).

According to Meagher (2009) [23] , DGT also improves the state capacity through the delivery of public services to the people. The theory, therefore, advocates for participation as a key to fighting corruption. Alamgir et al., (2006) [24] add that dealing with the phenomenal corruption practices depends on the degree of independence, transparency and accountability of different institutions of the government, including the parliament, the executive and the judiciary. These three organs should be in the form of checks and balances to one another. Furthermore, Ngware and Hoseah (2010) [12] , advocates for the DGT in Tanzania, arguing that corruption is a governance problem, because it exists where there is no economic freedom and prevalence of overregulation by governmental structures which creates motivation for corruption.

Transparency International and UNFAO (2011) [5] assert that where there is poor applicability of DGT, in accessing land, the process is likely to be characterised by high levels of corruption. Poor applicability of DGT can easily result into low level of transparency, accountability and the rule of law. Under such condition, land accessibility become unequal, tenure is insecure and land resources will not be well managed and administered. In the case of peri urban areas, Kombe (2010) [25] notes that inapplicability of DGT leads to the increase of land conflicts inter alia to dysfunctional of governanment institutions. Failure by abide to DGT also leads to nepotism in land accessibility and the unregulated urban development and increase of informal land access.

Scholars who have argued that DGT cannot lead to major changes as theory envisages advance several weaknesses which are basically contextual based. For instance, Tanzi (1998) [26] and Mbuh (2006) [27] strongly argue that the theory is associated with a particular culture and environment (Western Society) and contexualise things in the universality rather than realistic context and environment. Thus, the theory ignores the historical background, the level of development and political administration of different society namely western society and African society (Tanzi, 1998 [26] ; Mbuh, 2006 [27] ). The World Bank’s efforts to introduce liberal ideology which embed the DGT in African context to give the government minimal state control and allow other non-state actors to fully participate in day to day of government exercises not only frustrated the laid down government machinery but also destabilised it giving rise to corruption practice that solving it (Polzer, 2001 [35] ). Moreover, advocating separation of power between the state, judiciary and parliament has not successfully lessened corruption practices since even the line that separates them is blurred to signify its foreign orientation than African led approach.

Also, assessing the implication of DGT is determined mainly by the multilateral organisations, donors and UN agencies like the IMF, World Bank and UNDP. These agencies at their own discretion established the assessment tools and indicators based on their own views and interest rather than considering the needs of a specific continents or countries. As a result, this situation has created a debate among scholars and researchers on how best one can successfully assess success and or failure of DGT as Court et al., (2002:1 [28] ) opine that;

...There remains a lack of agreement over who is best placed to provide insights as to the quality of governance in a particular country and how it compares to the situation in other countries.

The above assertion proves that assessing applicability of DGT is not only difficult across the continents but also among countries. Importation of WB, IMF and UNDP indicators cannot fit the African context and more so the Tanzanian context.

Regardless of inherent weaknesses surrounding the DGT, the Government of Tanzania endorsed the principles of DGT hoping to lessen corruption practice in the provision of public service including accessibility to land among the peri- urban areas (Nuhu, 2013 [10] ). In order to see that such efforts succeed, the Government of Tanzania adopted different strategies including the establishment of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry on Corruption known as the Warioba Commission of 1996, the National Anticorruption Strategy and Action Plan (NACSAP) in 1999 which strengthened in NACSAP II. Also, it includes the establishment of the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB), the Human Rights and Good Governance Commission and Ethics Secretariat in 1995 (Lindner, 2014 [36] ). Moreover, the Government of Tanzania has programmes to educate and raise awareness on land corruption problem through media and civil society, as well as introduction of curriculum in secondary schools and universities about governance and corruption issues. Despite these initiatives still problem of corruption in land accessibility in peri-urban areas remain unresolved.

2. Research Methodology

2.1. Description of Dar es Salaam City

The study was conducted in peri urban areas of Dar es Salaam. Dar es Salaam was chosen because it is the largest city in East Africa and the third largest city in Africa after Bamako in Mali and Lagos in Nigeria (URT, 2014 [37] ). According to Tanzania’s census of 2012, the total population of Dar es Salaam was estimated 4,364,541 with 2,125,786 male and 2,238,755 female and the annual growth rate was 5.6 from 2000-2012 (URT, 2013 [38] ). The city accommodates 10% of the total Tanzania population and population density is 3133 per person square kilometre in 2012 (URT, 2013 [38] ; 2014 [37] ) and the mostly densely populated region compared to the other region in Tanzania (URT, 2014 [37] ). The city covers a total area of 1628 sq・kms of which 235 sq・kms comprised water bodies, including the Indian Ocean and 1393 sq・kms constitute the land (URT, 2013 [38] ; 2014 [37] ). The City has been characterised by higher demand for land for different uses, such as building of residential and commercial housing, institutional and industrial and for agriculture activities. The City accommodates Tanzanians from different ethnic group with varying experience of land accessibility. It is also has more than 70% of its residents living in the informal settlements suggesting serious problems in the access to planned and surveyed land (Kombe, 2005 [39] ). Investment demand for land is one of the key factors which have given rise to corrupt practices in land sector in the City.

2.2. Description of the Study Area and Methods Used

The study was conducted in Kinondoni Municipality which involved two wards that were purposively selected namely Kunduchi and Kawe. Kinondoni municipality is the Northernmost of three municipalities in Dar es Salaam the other being Temeke (to the far South East) and Ilala to the East in the India Ocean, to the North and West the Pwani region. The 2012 Tanzania National Census showed that the population of Kinondoni was 177,549; 914,247 female and 860,802 male. There are 446,504 household in Kinondoni with the average of 4 person household (URT, 2013 [38] ). Kinondoni Municipality was chosen for this study given the fact that the municipality experiences problems related with land accessibility more than other municipalities in the city namely Temeke and Ilala (URT, 2014 [37] ). Moreover, the selected wards of Kawe and Kunduchi in Kinondoni District were due to their experiences of higher rate of demographic characteristics (URT, 2014 [37] ). These wards have high population growth which goes hand in hand with the increase of land value and competition over land (URT, 2013, 2014 [37] [38] ). The study areas are shown in Figure 1.

Purposive and random sampling techniques were used to select the sample of 140 respondents. Members of the population who occupy land in the peri-urban areas were purposively selected with the help of local government leaders. With this population, random sampling was applied to get the representative sample which was interviewed. Six key informants from central and local governments were also purposively selected. Data were collected through household surveyed questionnaire and in-depth interview with key informants. Quantitative data were analysed using SPSS and excel computer package, while qualitative data

Figure 1. Map of Kinondoni showing Kunduchi and Kawe Wards Source: Cartographic Unit, UDSM 2016.

were analysed through thematic analysis.

3. Results and Discussion

3.1. Magnitude of Corruption Practices in Accessing Land

One of the findings revealed that despite the government design to adopt the principles of DGT in the process of accessing land, the land sector is still marred with rampant corruption practice. 96% (135) out of 140 respondents reported that corruption is a serious problem in land accessibility. The rest 4% (5) noted that they were not aware whether corruption was a problem or not. Data from interviews revealed that those who claimed not to have experienced the on gravity of corruption argued that they had accessed land through inheritance from their parents. Reasons given for the increase of corruption included, among other reasons, lacking transparency, and discretionary power by public officials over decision making, lack of accountability and abuse of law. This findings in line with Klitgaard (1988 [40] ) model which asserted that opportunities for corruption are greater in situations where government agents have monopoly powers over clients; officials have a great deal of discretion, or autonomous authority to make decisions, without adequate control on that discretion; and there is no enough accountability for decisions or results. Mathematically, Klitgaard model can be summarised as follows: corruption = monopoly + discretion ? accountability.

Such findings are also in line with what Koechlin et al., (2016 [9] ) observe in the peri-urban of Kenya that the land sector is scourged with rampant corruption practices influenced by urban dwellers and government officers. Although the factors given for the high magnitude of corruption were mainly institutional, one cannot fail to notes the fact that they all stem from lack of ethical values, loss of integrity and dignity, and the decaying moral values in our society today. According to LHRC report of 2014 [41] , the majority of respondents in Tanzania (67%) were also of the opinion that the level of corruption was high, with half of them suggesting that corruption had increased. The magnitude of corruption in land accessibility in peri urban has not only affected Tanzania but also the entire part East Africa and beyond. For instance, according to Transparency International (2010 [42] ) nearly 58% of the respondents in Kenya who had sought land services from the Minister of Lands were asked to pay bribes. A survey carried out by EACC in 2011 in Kenya found that corruption levels in the country had dropped to 36.1% from 42.8 % in the previous year. However, corruption in the Ministry of Lands had gone up from 14.2 % in 2008 to 19.3% in the year 2011 (Maina, 2013 [43] ).

3.2. Actors Fuelling Corruption in Land Accessibility Processes

Process of accessing land in peri-urban areas involves interaction of different actors with different interests and motives. These actors include; brokers, individuals, land officers in the municipality, workers at local government authorities and land officers in the Ministry. TI and UNFAO (2011) [5] clear analysed actors that are involved in land malpractices that lead into corrupt acts. Such actors, according to UNFAO and TI, may include government officials (at the local and national levels) as well as individuals that command political and economic power. Customary and communal authorities may also be involved, engaging in corrupt dealings and practices. Land investors, developers, owners and users (including renters and slum dwellers), as well as related service providers (real estate agents, lawyers and land surveyors), may also get tangled in corruption’s web, along with civil society organisations and even the media. Findings from the study revealed that 39% of the respondents claimed that each actor involved in corruption practices in the process of accessing land at different levels

Figure 2. Rank of Actors Fuelling Corruption in Land Accessibility (N = 140) Source: Survey Data, 2015. LoM = Land Officers in the Ministry, LM = Land Officers in the Municipality, WLG = Workers at Local Government, C = Citizens, BR = Brokers, AoA = All Actors, DK = Don’t Know.

in the peri urban areas. Among those actors, officers in the Ministry of Lands were ranked higher compared to the others as Figure 2 shows.

From Figure 2, it was unveiled by the majority of the respondents that there was no receiver without the giver suggesting that corruption practices in land related issues involved several actors from the giving side and the receiving side. While DGT advocates for accountability and transparency among public officials, it was surprisingly noted that the officials from the ministerial and local government level were reported to be involved in corruption practices. One respondent lamented that:

“...if you want to know the land officers in the Ministry of Lands who are involved in corruption practices, just go there and tell them you want to process a title for piece of land or land title. Sometimes they will demand a bribe directly or they will create conditions that require corruption especially delaying tactics in offering you the service...”

This quote support what the Warioba Commission (1996) [18] attested that workers at local governments and land officers in particular used their power and position to solicit corruption. Monopoly over power to these workers creates opportunities for corruption by limiting the ability of citizens to choose other providers of services. According to Hoseah and Ngware (2010) [12] , power is seen as an indication for success as a result public officials in the office use this power to instigate corruption practices since a person with power being in public or private offices are given exclusive power to perform some tasks of which before they execute them may demand corruption in return for the service. Ngware and Hosea add that those with power in offices that handles land related matters are at the top of the list regarding indulging themselves in corrupt practices. This is inter alia because of monopoly of power over public goods or services. Again, the LHRC study of 2011 [21] pointed out that the Ministry of Lands is among the leading corrupt institutions in Tanzania. The land officers at the Ministry engage in corruption practices in the process of delivering land services to land seekers (Transparency International and UNFAO, 2011 [5] ). Also, findings from the Transparency International and UNFAO adds that government bodies that are responsible for land matters are one of the public entities leading in corruption practices, like judiciary and police.

3.3. Land Accessibility Procedures and Corruption Practices

Exiting land accessibility procedures can either facilitate or hinder corruption acts. If procedure to access land are long and complex, may facilitate corruption, if they are simple and fair they will reduce level of corruption. Findings from the study unveiled that 74% (104) out 140 respondents reported that the existing land accessibility procedure were complex and unfair, about 11% thought that procedure were simple and fair, while 15% could not ascertain whether they were complex or fair. Table 1 shows the summary of the respondents’ views:

The respondents who noted that the procedures were complex explained that land accessibility procedures were too many, bureaucratic and thus time consuming. Those who thought the procedures were fair were from among those who had acquired land inheritance or during the period when the study area was not a planned area and thus got the land from private individuals i.e. without going the bureaucratic public allocation protocols or informally bought. Kironde (1995) [44] affirms that the procedures of accessing land in urban areas of Tanzania and Dar es Salaam in particular were complex during colonialism up to now. It can be noted that the complexity of land accessibility procedures do not give opportunities to the majority, especially the poor to access land in the planned areas. McLees (2011) [45] and Nuhu (2013) [10] argue that this can result in the increase of informal settlements around planned areas as long as the government does not redress complexity of land accessibility procedures. This is observed in the rapidly mushrooming of slums in the urban centres, mostly in Dar es Salaam. Dealing with land transaction in Tanzania is difficult in terms of time and cost. In turn they provide room for corruption practices primarily because the law itself is complex coupled with lack of administrative capacity (Transparency International and UNFAO, 2011 [5] ). Payne (2001:308) [46] who asserts that:

“…opportunities for access to legal shelter are significantly influenced by the social and economic costs of conforming to official requirements. Where these costs are greater than households can afford, they have little alternative but to seek other options”

Payne argument holds much truth to the problems inflicting peri-urban dwe- llers in accessing land as since the laid down procedures are too many, complex and take much time to be accomplished before one accesses land lawfully. Lugoe (2008) [47] presents procedures which are followed in Tanzania before an individual accesses land mostly in un-surveyed areas. An individual has to pass through seventeen steps as presented in Figure 3.

The steps shown in the Figure 3 are dominated by intense bureaucratic system as stipulated in the Land Act No. 4 of 1999. The figure indicates procedures which should be followed by urban dwellers in the formal process of accessing land from the application stage up to the stage of getting land title. Lugoe (2008) [47] argues that in order to get a title deed a person has to visit district land office at least five times. He notes steps that applicants have to follow during the

Table 1. Respondents Perception on Land Accessibility Procedures (N = 140).

Source: Survey Data, 2015.

Figure 3. Process for a Primary Application for a Title Source: Lugoe, 2008 [47] .

application for the title includes processes like fulfilment of checklist which also passes to the Commissioner of Oaths for signing and subsequently obtaining the letter of offer. Other steps are: presenting the payment details and return receipts to the land office which takes more than one day, as well as getting the title for attestation (signature) by a legal attorney and commissioner. The applicants have to make necessary corrections if the need arise before the application is sent to the registrar of titles for preparation of the title deed. The procedures and steps take place in different offices and departments creating a room for corruption practices, so as to simplify the process or to make it shorter.

Further analysis was done to assess whether the existing land accessibility procedures in peri-urban areas are sources of corruption or not. Views gotten from respondents and government officers reveal that 89% (125) out of 140 respondents concurred that the existing land accessibility procedures create grounds for corruption, while 11% (15) thought there was no relationship between existing land accessibility procedures and corruption practices. The findings as summarised in Figure 4 show various reasons justifying the relationship between land accessibility procedures and corruption.

The findings in Figure 4 reveal that more than a half (54%) out 125 respondents argued that land accessibility procedures were responsible for creating corruption grounds because they were complicated. On the other hand, about 36% of the respondents affirmed that procedures were too many, while 10% of

Figure 4. Reasons for the Relationship between Land Accessibility Procedures and Corru- ption (N = 125) Source: Survey Data, 2015.

the respondents noted that procedures were not participatory and transparent. Such existence of complication and lack of participation and transparency create grounds for corruption.

Further probing with local government officers confirmed that the existing land accessibility processes were bureaucratic because land surveying and land ownership processes involve different offices, such as municipal office (survey and planning unit) and Ministry of Land, Housing and Human Settlements office (survey and mapping department; Rural and Town Planning Department). In addition, the respondents noted that there was no coherence between offices or departments consequently casting blame on each other. This creates room for corruption practices whereby citizens manipulate the system to get services in time, while officers also collaborate knowing that they will not be held accountable.

These findings are similar to the Land Commission Report of (1992) [48] which asserted that the majority of Tanzanians, both in rural and urban areas, had blamed the government for not giving them the opportunity to participate in any decision making over land in their areas. This was also similar to the arguments raised by PCCB (2005) [49] that the existence of corruption in land was because of the top-down approach in all issues related to land. Lack of participation on behalf of the citizens leads to lack of transparency; the officers involved are aware of citizens are ignorance, they can, therefore, easily exploit them. This finding adds to Makwarimba and Ngowi (2012) [50] observation that lack of transparency in land matters means that it is impossible for the majority to get equal access to land resorting to corrupt practices. From the DGT perspective one would have expected least level of corruption in accessing land by countries that follow such principles. It is surprising to note that Tanzania which follows DGT principles turned to be a breeding place for corruption when attempts to access land are made.

3.4. Anti-Corruptions Strategies and their Implication to Land Accessibility

In order to ensure that DGT principles are operationalised so that corruption is minimised in accessing land, Tanzania has taken the following measures: 1) the establishment of Presidential Commission of Inquiry against Corruption known as Warioba Commission of 1996, 2) National Anti-corruption Strategy and Action Plan (NACSAP) in 1999 which was reviewed and enhanced in a NACSAP II for the period of 2008-2011 3) Establishment of the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB), 4) Human Rights and Good Governance Commission and Ethics Secretariat in 1995 (Lindner, 2014 [36] ). Findings from the interview reveal that the extent of efficiency and effectiveness of the ant-corru- ption strategies were found to be weak. Most of respondents argued that these strategies adopted by these institutions were inefficient and ineffective in reducing corruption practices in accessing land since corruption in the land sector had been escalating over the years. Other reasons justifying the inefficiency of anti- corruption strategies included violation of land related laws and increased land use conflicts.

Furthermore, respondents also lamented that these institutions had failed to raise people’s awareness through anti-corruption campaign. In addition, violation of laws and delays in cases that involved land conflicts and double allocation issues in land were mentioned. This is in line with the study by Helman and Ndumaro (2007) [51] who concluded that, despite the various measures taken by the Government of Tanzania and particularly the establishment of anti-corrup- tion strategies, such as the establishment of anti-corruption bodies, laws and regulations, still the problem of corruption is persist in Tanzania. Moreover, these anti-corruption bodies are, in some cases involved in partaking corruption they are supposed to curb (Aiko, 2015 [52] ). This is evidenced by the presence of government officers who have the responsibility of controlling corruption in the delivery of public services being sources of the problem. One of the respondents noted:

“... it is amazing during my plot survey... there were workers from the survey office, police and PCCB office. At the end of the survey, I was asked to offer a bribe to the PCCB officer so as to get title deed early. So I was left wondering whether the role of PCCB was to control corruption or to teach people to engage in corrupt practices...”

In addition, people do not have confidence in the institutions because they feel they do not command the full authority to take action against corruption as the director of PCCB was quoted verbatim by BBC radio on 9th April 2013 said:

“...PCCB appears not to be performing well because it has no power to prosecute someone, we just report these land corruption cases to the DPP who has the power to report and send suspected persons/people to the court... PCCB neither had power nor is it mentioned anywhere in the Constitution of the Republic of Tanzania...”

From this revelation, it appears that the Government of Tanzania has not empowered institutions fighting corruption. This in turn defeats the reason why these institutions were created for in the first place. Given the laxity in the government, even when culprits are forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecution, there seems to be no action taken. Such analysis is in line with what Aiko revealed in his study. Aiko (2015) [52] shows that the ant-corruption bodies are also considered incompetent regarding investigation and prosecution, especially in the process of collecting evidences that help in the court to prove beyond reasonable doubt in prosecuting corruption cases, especially those related with land. Koechlin et al., (2016) [9] add further that failure of anti-corruption bodies is also due to existing contextual situation whether it favours corrupt practice or not. They noted that anti-corruption measures are most effective when other contextual factors support them and when they are integrated into a broader package of institutional reforms. For instance, public official management reforms and changes to the incentive and reward structure in public service.

4. Conclusions and Recommendations

To a large extent, though the principles of Democratic Governance Theory is adhered to in the peri-urban land accessibility process in Tanzania, still its effectiveness is questionable as revealed in the findings. From the study, it was noted that, despite implementation of DGT, the magnitude of corruption in the process of accessing land has increased. This is also coupled with complicated me- chanisms and procedure when an individual strives to access land. Above all, the findings clearly showed that anti-corruption agencies in Tanzania such as: Pre- sidential Commission of Inquiry against Corruption known; National Anti- corruption Strategy and Action Plan; Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau; and the Human Rights and Good Governance Commission and Ethics Secretariat are inherently weak and not empowered to curb the problem of corruption in land sector. As a result, the theory resulted into fragmentation of service delivery and weakens the central control, without establishing a proper mechanism that reflects African ways of accessing land and more importantly in Tanzanian context.

This paper suggests that the Government of Tanzania should consider comprehensive participatory reforms which reflect community ways of land accessibility procedure and anti-corruption strategies. Given the current situation, it is imperative to invest and integrate modern information technology in the process of accessing land in order to reduce the frequent contact between land seekers and government officers. In the same vein, it is also recommended that the Government should conduct a comprehensive land use plan which will identify land use for each parcel of land in peri-urban areas. This will enhance transparency and accountability to the government official and the community at large toward sustainable peri urban development.

It is further recommended that the Government of Tanzania ought to ensure that the existing land access procedures are reduced and minimised by establishing one office in which all issues can be concluded. This will ultimately reduce corruption in the process of accessing land. Also, efforts to enable land accessibility procedures should be made clear and understandable to the majority. This should go hand in hand with ensuring that most people, if not all Tanzanians, are able to use the formal legal system which recognises informal and formal system as important attribute that have shaped land accessibility in peri- urban areas. In such context, then there is a need for the existing formal legal system to be the simplified so that majority of Tanzanians who operate in the informal sectors should access them.

The study call upon the Government of Tanzania to review, empower and strengthen capacity of the existing ant-corruption strategies, particularly the PCCB and the court that deals with land matters. This will enable the PCCB to have enough capacity to investigate and prosecute corruption suspects in land cases with no favour on either side. The need for strengthening the leadership code of conduct to base on equality and equity among the leaders should be observed so as to avoid conflict code of conduct.

It is important for the Government and civil society altogether to conduct training and advocacy, so as to raise the legal awareness and empowerment of the community groups on land management and corruption issues. Such training should, among others, focus on land administration on governance; issues such as transparency dimensions, with emphasis on public service, fairness and probity; including knowledge of national and international best practice. Citizens should be trained on how to activate pressure points, in particular on existing legal framework; on the scope and content of and stakeholders in land accessibility, as well as on how to identify potential corruption, conflicts of interest and vehicles for reporting in land related issues.

Given the contextual situation hindering easy access to land and the complexity thereof, it is suggested to make use of modern technology and communication in the whole process of accessing land. The advantages of inculcating modern technology will ease process of accessing land ranging from time and the accuracy of information. To attain this, therefore, the Government of Tanzania should develop a mapping system for all land in peri-urban areas through advanced technology such as the Geographical Information System (GIS) and enable citizens to access the information. This can reduce the frequent contacts and queues in the land offices reducing the unnecessary bureaucracy, ensure safe record keeping and increasing transparency and accountability.

5. Recommendations for Further Study

Challenges facing accessibility of land among the per-urban areas transcends the issues of corruption practices. Indeed, there are other areas that need to be given as higher attention as it is to corruption. For instance, the question of using GIS in the whole process of management, administration, and distribution of land among the peri-urban areas needs to further studied. To date scholars have not reliably established effective use of GIS in the management and distribution of land. Again, in order to ease accessibility of land among peri-urban dwellers there is a need for further studies to be rigorously done on the leadership aspect that caters the whole process of managing and distribution land. At times, this aspect has not given much attention as the result disputes over land in peri- urban areas are amounting as days gone.

Cite this paper

Nuhu, S. and Mpambije, C.J. (2017) Land Access and Corruption Practices in the Peri-Urban Areas of Tanzania: A Review of Democratic Governance Theory. Open Journal of Social Sciences, 5, 282-299.


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