How should the Mozambican traditional leaders' double role as community representatives and state assistants be captured? This discussion paper addresses some fundamental questions pertaining to the 2002 official recognition of traditional leaders as community authorities. After a brief history of the changing role of, and faith in, traditional authorities as a basis for understanding the importance of their recent official recognition, the paper outlines the key objectives of the Decree 15/2000 that officially recognizes community authorities. Some of the key concepts underpinning the Decree are then critically assessed. It is argued that the double role that community authorities are expected to fulfill as both community-representatives and state-assistants is not equally balanced in the Decree: the scale tips heavily towards the state-assistance aspect. The reasons for this are explored in the context of a set of reified notions underpinning the Decree, such as its understanding of qtraditional rulesq and the concept of qcommunity.q The paper concludes by pointing out some unintended consequences of these reified notions for kin-based forms of community authority and especially for the ideal of community participation.Current donor focus on traditional authority is not peculiar to the Mozambican context, but mirrors the processes of ... where governance was in large part taken care of by non-state actors operating outside the sovereign power of the state. ... first through a Ford Foundation-funded research project (1992-1997) and later by a USAID 10 Lars Buur and Helene Maria Kyed Mapping traditional authorities.
|Title||:||State Recognition of Traditional Authority in Mozambique|
|Author||:||Lars Buur, Helene Maria Kyed|
|Publisher||:||Nordic Africa Institute - 2005|