Dar es Salaam has a unique status, being the major City of Tanzania and the center of Government administration, industry, commerce and banking activities, despite of the Government decision to move its capital to Dodoma. Dar es Salaam is also the major port City of Tanzania. It has more than 575 major industrial establishments, a Central Bank, Commercial Banks, foreign exchange bureaus, Insurance companies (including one state-owned) and the Dar es Salaam Community Bank – a Microfinance Bank jointly started and owned by City Council and the three Municipalities. Administratively, Dar es Salaam has a regional administration headed by the Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner. It also has a City council administration headed by the Mayor of Dar es Salaam. The City also has three Municipal Councils namely, Ilala, Kinondoni and Temeke. The three Municipalities are the three districts of Dar es Salaam Region.
The Mayor of Dar es Salaam City
The Mayor of Dar es Salaam holds an important position due to the unique status of Dar es Salaam City mentioned above. The Mayor is the head of the largest metropolitan centre in Tanzania which hosts the highest Government Offices including the head of state, ministries, foreign diplomatic missions and international organizations. The office of the Lord Mayor of Dar es Salaam is conveniently located at Karimjee Hall, the very building where some of the important meetings for Government and the Parliament of Tanzania are held.
Dar es Salaam Regional and Political Administration
Dar es Salaam Region is one of the 27 regions of the United Republic of Tanzania. It has three Districts, namely, Ilala, Temeke and Kinondoni. Each District is headed by a District Commissioner. The Districts are divided into Divisions, which are in turn divided into Wards. Wards are divided into villages in the case of rural areas and Streets in the case of urban areas. At times the villages are divided into hamlets which are the smallest units. There are eigth Electoral Constituencies in Dar es Salaam, each with an elected Member of Parliament. Kinondoni District has three electoral constituencies namely Kawe, Ubungo, and Kinondoni. Ilala District has two constituencies namely, Ukonga and Ilala and Temeke District has two, namely Kigamboni and Temeke.
Dar es Salaam City Council and the Municipalities
The Dar es Salaam City has an apex Council for the City - the City Council, headed by the Mayor of Dar es Salaam, who is elected by the Full Council from among the 20 Councilors who form the City Council. The City Council comprises of 11 elected councilors from the three Municipalities, 7 Members of Parliament and Nominated Members of Parliament under “Special Seats” for women. Each of the three Municipal Councils is headed by a Mayor, elected by the Full Councils of the respective Municipalities. The Dar-es-Salaam City Council and the three Municipalities operate in the same jurisdictional areas, but each of the Municipal Council has been given a jurisdiction area demarcated with an administrative order. The functions of the City Council and the three Municipal Councils are provided for in Section 7A of Act No. 8 of 1982. The Councilors and Mayors serve for five-year terms, whereas Deputy Mayors are elected every year from among the councilors. The incumbent can be reelected many times, depending on the will of the councilors.
The City Council performs a coordinating role and attends to issues cutting across the three municipalities. The functions of the Dar es Salaam City Council are:
- To coordinate the powers and functions of the three Municipal Authorities regarding infrastructure.
- To prepare a coherent City–wide framework for the purpose of enhancing sustainable development.
- To promote cooperation between the City Council and amongst local government authorities within the City areas.
- To deal with all matters for which there is interdependency among the Municipalities.
- To support and facilitate the overall performance of the authorities.
- To provide peace and security and emergency services such as fire prevention, and control ambulance and auxiliary police.
- To perform major functions relating to protocol at ceremonies