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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Local State in Post-War Mozambique: Political Practice and Ideas about Authority
Author:Alexander, JocelynISNI
Periodical:Africa: Journal of the International African Institute
Geographic term:Mozambique
local government
Politics and Government
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/1161268
Abstract:This article explores the ways in which postindependence political practices in Mozambique's rural areas have shaped attitudes towards official authority, and considers the legacy of those attitudes for the Law of the Municipalities which was promulgated in September 1994. The law will transfer a range of State functions to elected district institutions and grant a greater role to 'traditional authorities'. Mozambican officials see the law as a means of making the State more efficient and more responsive to local needs. However, drawing on field research carried out in Manica Province in 1993-1994, the article argues that neither the Frelimo party-State nor the opposition movement Renamo inculcated a political practice which prepared the way for democratic demands. Nor are chiefs likely to represent community interests effectively. In Manica's rural areas 'local leaders' such as businessmen, political party leaders, chiefs and church leaders strongly associate official authority with a level of wealth and education that they do not possess and which, consequently, excludes them from holding such positions. While there is a strong popular desire for chiefs to resume various roles, they usually see their future in terms of a late colonial model, i.e. as an extension of administrative authority. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French.