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ISSN: 2332-0761
Journal of Political Sciences & Public Affairs
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Prolonging Conflict and Service Delivery in Tarime

Kwach E* and Adam C

Faculty of Development and Management, Kampala International Unievrsity Dar es salaam College, Tanzania

*Corresponding Author:
Eston Kwach
Lecturer Faculty of Development and Management
Kampala International Unievrsity Dar es salaam College, Tanzania
Tel: +255 715 051 624
E-mail: [email protected]

Received Date: October 26, 2015; Accepted Date: December 16, 2015; Published Date: December 26, 2015

Citation: Kwach E, Adam C (2015) Prolonging Conflict and Service Delivery in Tarime. J Pol Sci Pub Aff S2:004. doi:10.4172/2332-0761.S2-004

Copyright: © 2015 Kwach E, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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This study focused on the examining the impacts of prolonging conflicts and political instability on service delivery in Tanzania and Tarime cited as a case study. The research took place in Tarime district of Mara region where the researcher conducted his practical training as well as making an investigation on prolonging conflicts and political instability on service delivery using Tarime as one among of the major places found in Tanzania with persisting conflicts. Relevant literature readings necessary for accomplishing the study were done, the researcher tried to look on how other authors tried to explain about prolonging conflicts, also the researcher tried to look how other authors says on the impacts of prolonging conflicts and political instability on service delivery. The researchers used interview and questionnaire as a primary source of data collection from respondents, where other methods of data collection were not successful. The researcher administered face to face interview through continuous interaction with the targeted population who are Kurya elders, Tarime indigenous and government officials. Secondary source of data included reports from Tarime central police, Nyamwaga police station. The researcher comes out with findings that revealed the major causes and impacts prolonging conflicts and political instability on service delivery as well as the strategies used by the government to solve the given conflict. Conclusion and recommendation have been drawn, where the research has found out that the government measures are all ineffective and therefore the study recommends the government to work with the local community and come up with better short term and long term solutions to eradicate the problem of prolonged conflicts and political instability in Tarime


Prolonging conflict; Service delivery; Tarime


Conflict is a broad tem that can be viewed starting from an individual, group of individuals, society and the community in general. This term is destructive and productive in nature though in a real sense it is much destructive since it stands as the major source of different problems in any society inclusive political instability. Hogg and Vaughan, support that, when one group of people hates another group so profoundly that they can torture and/or kill individuals of the perceived out group then, there is a problem that need serious attention among researchers.Most of the cross-country literature on the incidence of civil war shows that poor countriesare at greater risk of internal conflict [1]. Unlike the rest of the East African region, Tanzania stands out as relatively stable and united country. But as far as land and ethnic prolonging conflict is concerned, emerging concerns over tensions relating to land, ethnic conflict and cattle grabbing in some areas of Tanzania continue to pose major challenges to the country’s socio-economic fabric. Although Tanzania has had a National Land Policy since August 1995, land based disputes and prolonging conflicts have been part of the administrative challenges. Despite the new land policy, Tanzania has experienced perhaps more conflicts around land than before. The major source of conflict with regard to Tanzania is thus the land law itself. It is thought to protect the rights for small-scale users but at the same time facilitating evictions and other abused of smallholders’ land rights. Tarime has emerged as a complex conflict ridden area in Tanzania. For years now a conflict, which at times turns violent, has been going on reportedly between two clans and sometimes between ethnic groups within Kurya society are in a great conflict. Conflicts among the clans are a normal custom of the people in Tarime district [2]. The district is well known for frequent interethnic and intra ethnic (Kuria clans) conflicts which vary from time to time. Ruel [3] in Fleisher noted that Kuria clans have been hostile towards each other and have been engaged in frequent fighting. These conflicts have caused enormous impact on individuals, the district and the nation as a whole. For instance, from the year 1992 to 2006 interclan conflicts between the Kira and the Nchari forced more than 300 households of the Nchari to abandon their area. During the same period inter-clan conflicts caused deaths of 17 people, 77 people were injured, 130 houses burned and 81 acres of various crops were destroyed [4]. It is also observed that almost 6 people lost life each year due to interclan fighting between the Kira, Nchari and Renchoka clans. These conflicts have resulted into socioeconomic unrest and have caused people become unwilling to interact and some clans prohibited intermarriage with other clan members. In the 2001 conflicts between the Renchoka and Nchari around Mwema secondary school, one student was injured [3,4]. Any small trigger will spark a whole fight nowadays. Land, boundary disputes and political leadership have recently been the main triggers to the current fighting practicing cattle theft which resulted to massive killings and many other destruction including that of properties whereby farms and houses were burned.

Later in 2009 the government of Tanzania through the Minister for Home Affairs Lawrence Masha, officially announced that the stage of security in Mara Region is fragile following the spate of killings caused by the ethnic conflicts, theft of cattle, armed robberies, and bhang farming. According to the report given by Rodgers Luhwago stated that 136 people have been killed and another 336 injured in the conflicts, 2,421 houses were set ablaze, rendering 756 families homeless and 673 traditional grain reserves destroyed. As a result, the government made an effort of introducing Police Special zone (PSZ) aimed at overcoming the situation, this has been as an attempt to make peace management (PMGT) which may result into political stability and make it easier to deliver services as long as socio-economic services are concerned. So the increasing number of police officers and working tools was taken as a strategy to tackle the problem.

Major Causes of Prolonging Conflicts

According to Rummel [5] major causes of prolonging conflicts are as follows:

Systemic determinants

Cause objective changes in parties’ material circumstances; environmental deterioration, population growth, resource scarcity and competition, the colonial or Cold War legacy, breakdowns of values and traditions, poverty, the marginalization of pastoralists, and ethnicity are all examples of systemic causes of conflict [6]. Systemic causes of conflict are pervasive and affect large numbers of people. Their influence on the probability of conflict operates slowly. Measures like international programs or government policies that seek to prevent or reduce conflicts by treating their systemic sources often show results over the long term.


Ethnicity, the identity felt by people as a language group, tribe, clan, religion, or region is seen as a factor that drives many current conflicts. There are two general positions about ethnic identity’s influence on conflicts [7]. The “primordial” explanation sees the main source of conflict in a deep sense of identity. Ethnic conflicts arise when ancient hatreds are unleashed because certain authoritarian controls were removed. The theory attributes conflicts to systemic causes outside the control group leaders and thus of third parties as well. The other view, “instrumentalism,” sees such conflicts arising from policies pursued by groups who use group identity as a tool to mobilize people in pursuit of specific gains [8]. Conflict may be fomented by elites who manipulate the symbols dear to their group and can stir resentment against other groups. They invoke hatred through propaganda, or they take covert actions to provoke violent reactions from their followers. This implies that group emotion does not usually combust spontaneously: it must be whipped up. From this perspective, ethnic conflicts are less subject to unalterable forces and more contingent on the action of elites and individual leaders [9].

Political and institutional factors

Proximate causes are problems in the social, political, and communications processes and institutions that mediate the effect of systemic conditions on peoples’ lives and behavior [10]. Proximate factors are crucial influences on whether systemic conditions give rise to violent reactions or to more peaceful ways of dealing with conflicting interests. The linkage between proximate determinants and manifestations of violent conflict are easier to discern and their effect is more direct. Government policies, social organization, economic reform programs, the problems of political liberalization, militarization and external military aid can all be proximate cause of conflict [11].

Materials and Methods

Study area and target population

The study was carried out in Tarime area of Mara Region in Tanzania. This area was considered ideal because it has witnessed numerous conflicts since 1960s. A cross sectional research design was used in the study so as to allow the collection of data from different groups of respondents at relatively same time. The design was considered to be favorable because of resources limitations for data collection, it is one time survey and hence the corresponding costs [12]. The target population for the proposed study was the Kuria elders, Government officials and community members who were available in the study area.


The study involved Kuria Elders, Government officials and community members who were available in the study area. Those who were questioned are elders, government officials and community members [13]. These were preferred as the ultimate sample population, since they are the most appropriate measure when assessing the causes and effects of prolonging conflicts and political instability o service delivery. The respondents were chosen through Purposive and convenient sampling techniques due to the special role played by the chosen respondents, also due to their understanding of the problem under study.

Sample size

The total sample size was of 40 respondents. This sample size was found to be convenient since statistical computations are meaningful. Also the small sample size provides accurate data. Time, financial and human resources limitations as well, prompted the researchers to have such a sample size (Table 1).

Data analysis

Data analysis is a process which implies editing, coding, classification and tabulation of collected data [6]. Data processing and analysis was conducted at Kampala International University, in Dar es Salaam Tanzania. Data from the respondents were verified, compiled, coded and summarized before analyzed by using qualitative method and Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) window software so as to make realistic inferences based on the study sample. In this Statistical package, descriptive statistics particularly frequencies and percentages was used to show the linkages between independent variables and dependent variable [14].

Results and Discussion

The data was analyzed according to the objectives, which were:

i. To know the major causes of prolonging conflicts and political instability in Tarime

ii. To find out the effects of prolonging conflicts and political instability on service delivery in Tarime

iii. To assess the measures taken by the government to eradicate the problem of prolonged conflicts and political instability in Tarime [15]

The first objective that examined the major causes of prolonging conflicts and political instability in Tarime looked at areas such as:

a. Unequal employment opportunities

b. Unequal distribution of resources

c. Differences in cultural practices

d. Lack of arbitration and mediation systems (Tables 2-4)

The findings on the causes of prolonged conflicts indicated that there was Agreement from respondents that there existed unequal employment opportunities, unequal distribution of resources and also lack f arbitration/mediation systems. More significantly, there was strongly Agreement that there were differences in cultural practices. These findings conformed with the theory by Rummel [5] on major causes of prolonging conflicts where he mentioned Systemic determinants (unequal employment opportunities and lack of arbitration/mediation systems), Political and institution factors (unequal distribution of resources) Ethnicity (Differences in cultural practices) [16].

The second objective examined the effects of prolonging conflicts on service delivery in Tarime, it covered areas such as;

a. Level of poverty increase in the area

b. Few number of educated women and youths

c. Lack of basic social services such as water, education, hospitals etc

The data is analyzed in percentages (%). The findings on the Effect of prolonging conflicts on service delivery indicated that most respondents Strongly Agreed that Poverty Levels has been increasing after the conflicts, there are few educated women and youths in the areas and that there is lack of basic social services such as adequate water, education, hospitals etc. These findings conform with the work of Yepes, Pierce, and Foster [6] which stated that there is usually slow establishment of infrastructure in conflicting areas due to unstable situation that makes people to move out of their home and leave the place less demanded and hence poor and slow development of infrastructures. African countries lag behind other countries in the developing world [17].

The third objective examined the measures taken by the government to eradicate the problem of prolonged conflicts. Some of the measures assessed include;

a. Improving socioeconomic welfare of the people

b. Working with social groups to preach peace awareness and importance of unity

c. Improved provisions of security in the area

The findings indicated that the respondents disagreed about the success of the government measure used to eradicate the prolonged conflicts. The majority Disagreed on the success of improving Socio economic Welfare of the people, they also disagreed on the success of working with social groups to preach peace awareness an unity and there was also disagreement on the success of improved provisions of security in the area.


There exists unequal employment opportunities, unequal distribution of resources and also lack of arbitration/mediation systems. There exist also differences in cultural differences among the residents of the area. These are some of the causes of the prolonged conflict and conform to the theory by Rummel [5] on major causes of prolonging conflicts. Some of the effects of prolonging conflicts on service delivery are increasing poverty levels, poor education levels among women and youths and lack of basic social services such as water, education and hospitals. These findings conform to the work of Yepes, Pierce, and Foster [6]. The government measures to eradicate prolonged conflicts have not been successful. The government programs such as improving socioeconomic welfare of the people, working with social groups to preach peace and unity and also provision of security in the area, all have not been successful.


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