n Law, Democracy & Development - Traditional leadership and its future role in local governance

Volume 7, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1028-1053
  • E-ISSN: 2077-4907



During the last few years a controversy has raged over the role of traditional leaders in governance. fuelled by the passing of legislation providing for a restructured local government system, the demarcation of municipalities and the 2000 municipal elections that ushered in the new local government system. The controversy arose because the new municipalities cover the whole country. including the rural areas under the jurisdiction of traditional leaders. In rural areas municipalities have powers and functions that largely overlap with those that are supposed to be exercised by traditional authorities. Traditional leaders fear that once these municipal governments become fully operational, it will be the end of their influence and the end of traditional authorities. This paper looks at the problem of rural local government. the competing issues at stake and the implications of the different strategies that might be adopted by government in resolving the problem.

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