Assessing Policy Initiatives on Traditional Leadership to Promote Electoral Democracy in Southern Africa

Daniel Chigudu


This article makes an assessment of policy initiatives on traditional leadership to promote electoral democracy in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Namibia in order to provide intervention mechanisms. In Southern Africa reports of abuse of the institution of traditional leadership by political parties during elections have manifested in various forms resulting in public outcry. The study is done through a review of domestic Constitutions and policies in place for traditional leadership in the selected countries. The study shows that Namibia allows traditional leaders to hold political offices, while two other countries do not allow that. Zimbabwe clearly forbids traditional leaderships to meddle in partisan politics through the national Constitution. South Africa is not very clear in the national Constitution although it forbids through a white paper. The study concludes that traditional leaders must use their influence to encourage people to make electoral choices independently and guard against political party manipulations. It invites governments to provide enabling legal frameworks that stimulate traditional leadership to be non-partisan and promote electoral democracy.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2015.v6n1s1p120

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This work is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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