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Forms and Reforms of Constitution-Making With Reference to Tanzania

This is the UTAFITI [New Series) Special Issue, Vol. 4, 1998-2001: 131-150, written by Daudi R. Mukangara under the title: Forms and Reforms of Constitution-MakingWith Reference to Tanzania


"Although the prevalent perception about constitutions in older and stable democracies is that they were concluded by popular majorities, and that they were drawn up democratically, a closer examination reveals that constitutions have almost always been drawn up by minority dominant groups.Consequently the reason for the longevity and survival of constitutions in older democracies has less to do with democratic beginnings than with a belief in the system, a culture of respecting society's primary institutions, and a society's willingness to review its constitution periodically, whether by formal reenactments or by judicial re-interpretation. But the further we have moved into the modem era, the more important it has become to add other prerequisites fora constitution's survival. Thus, it is now imperative to specify clearly what therelationship between the governing institutions and the people is, as well as the formal power relations that exist among major branches of Government. In addition, in newly-constituted polities whose institutions are usually highly contested by non-ruling groups, it might be important not only to institute a'good' constitution, but also to be seen to be drawing such a constitution by consultative and inclusive means. In Tanzania, the later versions of the constitution have adequately specified the relationship among the major branches of Government, and between the government and the people, especially after 1984. Also, the constitution-making processes have become consultative over time, involving ordinary people in general, though many critics still see them as not being truly consensual."

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