Do they work for us?

The Bunge, Tanzania’s Parliament, is one of the most important institutions in the country. Its importance is reflected in the resources allocated to it. For 2009/10, Tanzania’s Parliament was allocated Tshs 62 billion. Since Parliament comprises of 320 members, this amount averages to Tshs 194 million per MP.

One of Parliament’s core functions is to oversee the executive branch of Government. Parliament is to ensure that the country is well governed, that services are properly delivered to citizens, and that money entrusted to the Government is well spent and accounted for. In Parliament, MPs can hold the Executive to account by making three kinds of interventions: MPs can ask basic questions, they can ask supplementary questions and they can make contributions during debates.

This note presents eight key facts analyzed from information retrieved from the public Parliamentary On-line Information System (POLIS) of the Tanzania Parliament Website ( as found in January 2010.

It finds that opposition members are more active than ruling party members, that elected MPs perform better than nominated MPs and that female MPs are less active than male MPs. The note identifies 72 MPs who never asked one basic question and lists the three most and the three least active MPs.

Read more: governance



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