In 1989 the World Bank issued a document which argued that, ‘underlying the litany of Africa’s development problems is a crisis of governance’ (1989: 60). This document has meant the advent of the imposition of conditionality to effect liberal democratic government.1 More then a decade later good governance in its various guises dominates the donor agenda. The donor agenda is reminiscent of the heyday of colonalism and the civilsing mission which thrust Africa into the orbit of the European world albeit as a ‘dark continent’. This idea of Africa was punctuated by the very construction of Africa as an absence (Mudimbe, 1994). It is this absence which assigns to Africa a state of nullity which makes it uniquely available as the site of whatever fantasy one cares to propose. This paper seeks to understand the manner in which the notion of good governance has been applied to the East African nation, Tanzania.