Tanzania Parliament derives its mandate and functions from the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania of 1977, the laws of Tanzania and its own rules of procedure. Chapter 3 of the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania contains Articles that provide for the establishment, composition and functions of the Parliament.
Besides various provisions of Standing Order, members of the Committee enjoy the same rights and powers enjoyed by the members of the House regard to the effectively functioning of committees as provided by (Act No.3. of 1988) the Parliamentary Immunities, Powers and Privileges.
Tanzania Parliament like its counterparts, in other countries, is the Supreme Legislature of the country. It consists of the President of the United Republic and the National Assembly. It grants money for running the administration of the country and is a very effective instrument for overseeing Government programs and plans. It can also oversee the action of the Executive by being a watchdog to ensure that government is accountable for its administration. The most important function of Parliament is to make laws. The subjects on which Parliament can legislate have been laid down in the Constitution. Parliament is sovereign in the sphere of Legislation. The scheme of our Constitution being a United Republic, the Tanzania parliament that is a Union Parliament exercises autonomous powers in the sphere of both Union and Non union Matters which are not under the purview of Zanzibar Government.
In view of that parliament can assume the following roles:
- To pass laws for the good governance.
- To provide, by giving legislative sanction to taxation and acquisition
of means to carrying out the work of the government.
- To scrutinize government policy and administration, including
proposal for expenditure; and to debate major issues of the day.
Tanzania Parliament consists of the following categories of members: (Article 66 of the Constitution)
- Members elected to represent constituencies.
- Women members whose number shall increase progressively starting with twenty per cent of the members named in sub-paragraphs (1), (3) and (4) of this paragraph, to be elected by the political parties that are represented in the National assembly in terms of Article 78 of the Constitution and on the basis of proportional representation amongst those parties.
- Five members elected by the Zanzibar House of Representatives from among its members,
- The Attorney General.
- Not more than ten members appointed by the President
The 2010 general elections produced the following numbers:
|1.||Members elected from the same number of constituencies.||239|
|2.||Special seats women members.||102|
|3.||Members elected by the Zanzibar House of Representatives.||5|
|5.||Members appointed by the President.||10|