Constitutions, constitutionalism and the economy: lessons from Tanzania.
Mgongo, Fimbo G.
MetadataShow full item record
Tanzania is a poor Third World country whose people were among the 780 million people who were described by the World of Bank as living in the direst poverty "a condition of life so charactarised by malnutrition, illiteracy and disease as to be beneath any reasonable definition of human decency".1 Third World peoples are not only poor but also live under authoritarian regimes. The people lack human rights and dignity. This paper traces the history of constitution making in Tanzania in the context of struggles for peoples' economic and political emancipation. The first section sketches the liberal interpretation of constitutionalism and Tanzania's initial rejection of it under the banner of developmentalism in the name of ''Ujamaa". The result was the emergency of an authoritarian state. The paper argues that authoritarianism did not bring any noticeable benefits to the people. The second section discusses entrenchment of the Bill of Rights in the Constitution in concession to public demands and addresses itself to the current debate on greater democratisation. The paper notes that the issues raised in the debate go beyond the liberal concept of constitutionalism. In the concluding remarks, I make some generalizations which I believe, are applicable to other African states.