n Law, Democracy & Development - Special interest councillors in Zimbabwe : a review of law and practice in terms of the 2013 Constitution

Volume 17, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1028-1053
  • E-ISSN: 2077-4907



The law and practice surrounding the election of local leadership has for long been an area under debate in Zimbabwe. While Zimbabwe has a long history of local government, there is considerable tension with regard to the role of the national Minister of Local Government Rural and Urban Development (hereafter referred to as the Minister) in local government matters. The appointment of "special interest" councillors by the Minister plays a particularly important role in this debate because of the tension that exists between the imposition of ministerial appointments and the concept of a democratically elected municipal council. This article examines the legal and policy frameworks surrounding this national instrument. It then discusses the content of a number of key regional instruments on local democracy as well as the content of the recently adopted Constitution of Zimbabwe. It then presents the results of a survey of 20 major urban councils across the country and examines the extent to which the law and practice of appointing special interest councillors respond to the demands of modern democratic local governance.

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