Dr Chigwata focuses on decentralisation in Zimbabwe

The Dullah Omar Institute is pleased to announce that a researcher with its Multilevel Government Initiative, Dr Tinashe Chigwata’s article titled "Decentralization in Africa and the Resilience of Traditional Authorities: Evaluating Zimbabwe's Track Record" has been published by the Journal 'Regional and Federal Studies'.

This article looks at one of the most important endogenous factors influencing the workings of decentralisation in Zimbabwe. Successive waves of formal institutional change that took place during Zimbabwe's colonial and post-colonial history have been unable able to uproot the influence of traditional leaders.

On this article, Chigwata points out that due to their home-grown legitimacy, various traditional authorities continue to play an ever-present role in the lives of people in rural areas. But, as it is the case throughout most of Africa, the powers of traditional leaders have mostly been uncodified under modern law and these power relations tend to be rather informal and culturally inaccessible to most outsiders. Consequently, the scholarly literature has not been able to systematically acknowledge their pervasive influence.

The article concludes with a reflection on how the influence of traditional authorities can be translated into the democratic and progressive empowerment of rural populations in the developing world.

The article is now available online on the following link: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13597566.2015.1121873.