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Part III Decentralisation, Local Government, and Constitutionalism, 12 Decentralisation and Constitutionalism in Zimbabwe: Can the Leviathan be Tamed?

Tinashe Carlton Chigwata

From: Decentralisation and Constitutionalism in Africa

Edited By: Charles M. Fombad, Nico Steytler

From: Oxford Constitutions (http://oxcon.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved.date: 16 January 2021

This chapter details the paradoxical situation in Zimbabwe. Decentralisation can be an effective instrument for promoting limited, democratic, and accountable government. Zimbabwe has adopted a multi-level system of government with government organised at the national, provincial, and local levels to reap these benefits linked to constitutionalism. While the 2013 Constitution reflects a strong intent for devolution, the intent is not matched by adequate entrenchment of the political, administrative, and fiscal instruments of decentralisation. The major weaknesses of the 2013 Constitution are that the national government has discretion to determine when devolution should take place and what should be devolved. Moreover, local autonomy is not adequately constitutionally protected. The ability of the multi-level system of government to ensure limited, democratic, and accountable government is therefore limited. The Constitution nonetheless provides a foundation upon which a fully-fledged multi-level system of government could be built.

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