Succession Politics and State Administration in Africa: The Case of Zimbabwe

The paper is a critical inquiry into the influence of succession politics on
state administration in Africa, with particular reference to Zimbabwe, and
unpacks the interactive boundaries and conceptual overlaps in this field.
This study was based on 18 qualitative in-depth interviews conducted with
key informants using the purposive sampling technique, complemented by
extensive document review. The findings of the study show that succession
politics in Africa includes executive dominance, egocentrism and excessive
appointive powers. These are compounded by the lack of an institutional
framework of succession, which in turn undermines the professional
independence of the bureaucracy and inhibits the pursuit of comprehensive
governance. The findings also isolate Zimbabwe as a victim of political,
societal and historical factors that exacerbate the succession dilemma. In its
recommendations, the paper argues that the succession challenge faced by the
continent, in particular Zimbabwe, will continue to hound succession trends
and responsive administration unless broad-based reforms are instituted to
dismantle the historical legacies embedded in the political systems.

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Categories: Journal of African Elections
journal of african elections vol19 number 2 transparent democratic governance in africa