Decentralisation and Central Government Control: Experiences from the Local Government Reform in Zimbabwe

Main Article Content

Shikha Vyas-Doorgapersad
Tawanda Nyikadzino

Abstract

Post-independence state-building in Africa was hinged on decentralisation reforms aimed at increasing the participation and involvement of the previously disenfranchised black majority in governance and development processes. There was a realisation that the inherited governance and development challenges could only be addressed through decentralisation. The qualitative desktop analysis of the relevant literature that was undertaken in the recent research, however, indicates that decentralisation reforms implemented by most African countries since gaining independence failed to achieve the intended results. Building on this trend, this article is guided by Falleti’s sequential theory of decentralisation and argues that the administrative, fiscal, and political decentralisation reforms implemented in Zimbabwe, rather than empowering the local people, further entrenched the central government’s grip on and control of local governments – centralisation and recentralisation through decentralisation/devolution. Authors argue that the reforms created avenues through which the central government could micromanage, whip, and sometimes, undermine local governments thereby suffocating their capacity to provide basic services. The reforms allowed the central government to deepen its patronage networks.     

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How to Cite
Vyas-Doorgapersad, S., & Nyikadzino, T. (2022). Decentralisation and Central Government Control: Experiences from the Local Government Reform in Zimbabwe. African Journal of Governance & Development, 11(1.2), 213-232. https://doi.org/10.36369/2616-9045/2022/v11si2a1
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Articles
Author Biography

Tawanda Nyikadzino, University of Johanensburg

Postgraduate student in teh School of Public Management, Governance and Public Policy