The contribution of the roman catholic church towards democratization in Tanzania, 1961-2010; a case study of Mkolani ward in Nyamagana district.
This study examined the contribution of the Roman Catholic Church towards democratization in Tanzania between 1961 and 2010 with a focus on Mkolani ward in Nyamagana district. The study discovered that the Church played a lot of roles towards democratization in that particular area. These include promoting and supporting the previously set Church-based learning institutions, giving constructive criticism on socialism and self-reliance policy, inviting different political parties to sell their policy, educating the people through SAUT Legal and Human Rights Centre and Radio SAUT FM, providing free copies of books, talked about the rights and freedom of the mass media, formation and encouragement of the lay movements and associations, fighting for amendment of the national constitution and supporting multi-party system. The study also aimed at describing the challenges that affected the Church’s struggle for democratization in Mkolani ward. Some political, social and economic setbacks were identified. These included being labelled colonialists and traitors, government interference and control of labour parties, lack of free and fair elections, limited freedom of the mass media, opposition from other religious groups, illiteracy and poverty. In order to achieve the objectives of this study, the secondary and primary sources were used. Last, the interviews were done so as to fill the gaps left by both secondary and primary sources. My research was based on change and continuity theory as advocated by R.K. Merton. He argues that adaptations take forms of conformity and innovations. He insists that society and man are constantly changing and not static at all. Merton’s analysis was adopted here because it provides a comprehensive approach to a study of people’s responses and adaptations to situations. The study revealed that people responded positively to the Church’s teachings about democracy. This showed that when individuals get exposed to new ideas, they are ready to change provided they see the potential for adapting to those changes.