The United Republic of Tanzania has a president, who is the head of government, and a unicameral parliament. In the December 2005 presidential and legislative elections, citizens elected Jakaya Kikwete president, and the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi party made significant gains in the parliament. Observers considered the elections to be largely free and fair. The archipelago, Zanzibar, although integrated into the country's governmental and party structure, has its own president, court system, and legislature and continued to exercise considerable autonomy. The 2005 presidential elections in Zanzibar had serious irregularities and politically motivated violence in the urban areas. The government's overall human rights record remained poor, although progress was made in press freedoms on the mainland. There were a number of continuing human rights problems. Police and prison guards used excessive force against inmates or suspects, at times resulting in death, and police impunity was a problem; there were continued reports of killings of elderly individuals accused of being witches; prison conditions were harsh and life‑threatening; there was widespread police corruption and violation of legal procedures; the judiciary suffered from corruption and inefficiency, especially in the lower courts; freedom of speech and press were partly limited; governmental corruption remained pervasive; societal violence against women persisted; and trafficking in persons and child labor were problems.
In 2007 the priorities and public statements of the United States promoted democratic principles focused on strengthening press freedoms and on assisting the government's efforts to establish a more accountable, representative, and effective government based on institutions that actively promoted rule of law and democratic pluralism. To advance this strategy, the United States facilitated the government's efforts to reduce corruption through training and support for the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB). Priority focus of mission officers was on strengthening U.S. government and civil society programs that promoted journalistic independence and investigative reporting, targeted legislative oversight and independence, and enabled local NGOs to track public expenditures.
The United States sought to promote democracy through diplomatic engagement and programmatic support. Throughout 2007 the chief of mission and other officers emphasized publicly that press freedom was the cornerstone of the country's democratic growth. The chief of mission spoke at a journalism school and approved support for NGOs that advocate expanding and protecting press freedoms. He selected a prominent media house owner who backs up his editors and reporters in their investigative journalism as the mission's annual Martin Luther King Day award recipient. The chief of mission also encouraged all embassy officers to give certificates to Public Expenditure Tracking System local officials who worked diligently to implement accountability programs in their villages.
The United States worked to support civic education, including civic education courses for community groups in Swahili Coast communities and Masai women to increase their participation in the democratic process. On the isle of Pemba, a new women's reconciliation effort was launched between women of opposing political parties. All mission agencies created programs to reach out to faith-based groups to increase opportunities for inter-faith dialogue.
The U.S. government provided vital support to the government's anticorruption efforts, strengthening the government's capacity and the legal framework to prosecute corruption cases. The U.S. government's multiyear effort was a large factor in the passage and implementation of an anti-money-laundering bill, a key step toward creating a financial intelligence unit. To improve the legal environment for prosecuting corruption, the United States organized a workshop for journalists and government officials on the importance of protection for whistle blowers. The U.S. government also supported President Kikwete's efforts to increase the effectiveness of the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau. The Millennium Challenge Threshold Program trained over 30 magistrates on anticorruption legislation and how to use it effectively in court. Partnering with civil society organizations, the United States also implemented 11 public expenditure tracking systems in districts throughout the country. These tracking systems enabled citizens to begin holding their government accountable for the delivery of public services. In addition, in August 2007 the chief of mission's speech at a public PCCB ceremony triggered a national discussion on donor countries' responsibilities to hold the government more accountable.
The U.S. government supported the improvement of the country's public procurement system and encouraged the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority to make its reports public. One report came to the attention of a key parliamentary committee investigating the procurement actions of the government-owned electricity company. In early 2008 the committee's report unveiled that the prime minister and other cabinet members had interfered in certain procurements; shortly afterward, the prime minister resigned and a major cabinet change followed. The committee's report also signaled a strengthening of the legislative branch with the members beginning to assume a position as watchdog of the executive branch.
The U.S. government supported improvements to the judicial system through the creation of a legal aid network to increase access to the justice system for the rural poor. The United States continued to provide the police force with training on civil disorder management to improve the ability of the police to manage peaceful protests and other large gatherings.
The U.S. government also provided local education courses to teach Masai women about their rights, including the right to forgo female genital mutilation. The United States also worked with government officials, NGOs, and the International Organization for Migration to raise awareness about trafficking in persons and to encourage prosecution of traffickers. From April to August 2007, the United States provided antitrafficking training and technical assistance for police and immigration officials on the mainland and in Zanzibar as well as for prosecutors and magistrates. This program was designed in consultation with NGOs that provide protection for victims. In addition, the U.S. government supported three shelters for victims of trafficking. An HIV/AIDS awareness workshop in the legislative capital of Dodoma assisted to combat discrimination against persons living with HIV and AIDS.