African Journal of
Political Science and International Relations

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Pol. Sci. Int. Relat.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0832
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJPSIR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 400

Full Length Research Paper

New constitution-making in Tanzania: An examination of actors’ roles and influence

Edwin Babeiya
  • Edwin Babeiya
  • Department of Political Science and Public Administration, Dar es Salaam University College of Education, University of Dar es Salaam, P.O BOX 2329, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 24 March 2016
  •  Accepted: 26 April 2016
  •  Published: 31 May 2016


On 9th December, 2011 Tanzania celebrated its 50th anniversary of independence. This was later followed by the anniversary on 26th April, 2014 of a diamond jubilee for the union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar which led to the birth of the United Republic of Tanzania. During these celebrations, there was what seemed to be the popular view that Tanzania needed a new constitution for the next 50 years. It was on the basis of this recognition that the country embarked on the process of making that constitution whose ending through a referendum is in limbo. Using ten labels to discuss the involvement of various actors in the process, this study shows that elitism was predominant thus making the role of other actors, particularly the general public, seasonal and insignificant.  The study further shows that while the proposed new constitution ought to have reflected the interests of various constituencies for legitimacy purposes, parochial and partisan interests (orchestrated by elites) eclipsed the process hence immersing it into a stalemate. It thus concludes that the success or failure of the process of making the new constitution still depends much on elite consensus.

Key words: Constitution, democratization, labels, constituent assembly, actors.