Mzumbe University was established by the Mzumbe University Charter, 2007 under Section 25 of the Universities Act. No. 7 of 2005 which repealed Mzumbe University Act. No 9 of 2001. As a Training Institute, the University boasts of over 50 years experience of training in the administration of justice, business management, public administration, accountancy, finance, political science and good governance.
Mzumbe University origin can be traced back to 1953 when the British Colonial Administration established a Local Government School in the country. The school was aimed at training local Chiefs, Native Authority Staff and Councilors. The level of training was elevated after Tanzania (Tanganyika) independence to include training of Central Government Officials, Rural Development Officers and local Court Magistrates. In 1972, the then Local Government School was merged with the Institute of Public Administration of the University of Dar es Salaam to form the Institute of Development Management (IDM-Mzumbe). IDM was a higher learning institution for training professional managers in the public and private sectors.
Given the natural growth of the Institute over the years of successful operation and the changing national and international human resource needs, the Government transformed it into fully fledge public University. This was made under the Act of Parliament No.21 of 2001. In December 2006, the Mzumbe University Act No 21 of 2001 was repealed by the Universities Act of Tanzania No. 7 of 2005 and replaced by the Mzumbe University charter, 2007 which now guide the operations and management of the University. The mandate of the University as stipulated in the Mzumbe University Charter, 2007 focuses on training, research, publications and public service cum consultancy.