Towards true democracy in East Africa: a critical analysis of electoral expenses laws and practice of Tanzania and Kenya

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University of Dar es Salaam
Overspending in elections in Tanzania and Kenya has still continued to be a problem despite the existence of laws which regulate electoral expenses. Politicians spend a lot in elections. This denies the poor people their constitutional right to participate in governance of their country and discourages people who have no money to participate in electoral process. It is on this factual situation that this work is tailored to analyze the position of electoral laws and practice in ensuring free and fair elections focusing on Tanzania and Kenya. The methodology used in this work is documentary review and personal interview with different stake holders such as lawyers and politicians as well as the officials in different institutions in both Tanzania and Kenya. News, presentations and discussions in televisions, radio and newspaper was observed through observation method. This work found among others that, the laws of electoral expenses in both Kenya and Tanzania have many deficiencies which need to be corrected. Furthermore, the institutions created by the law to implement election expenses laws have not performed their duties according to the law. Thus makes the implementation of electoral expenses laws impossible. Therefore, it is recommended that the laws be amended to correct deficiencies and the institutions be restructured, the appointment procedures of the members should be more democratic in order to give the institutions the required independence.
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Election law, Democracy, Africa, East, Finance, Tanzania, Kenya
Leandy, A