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Katalikawe, J. W. R. (1985) The Evolution of Local Government in Uganda: A Legal and Historical Study, 1900-1962. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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This thesis is a study of the transformation of "Native Authorities" into local government bodies in a British Protectorate. The setting is "the Pearl of Africa", popularly known as Uganda. The study is concerned with British "Indirect Local Rule" and Administration from 1900-1962. Its prime interest is to detail Britain's colonial record and its legacy. It sets out the legal framework within which the indigenous political institutions were recognised and employed by the Protecting Power as "mouth organs" and agencies through which British Officers carried out their administrative, judicial and legislative powers; examines the transformation of some of the indigenous procedures and ideas about justice, taxation and local administration generally, and highlights the success or otherwise, as the case may be, of these reform efforts. To this end, attention is focussed on the evolution of local government units - the District Councils, the Chiefly system of justice, the local revenue system, and the central-local relations. The idea is, firstly, to present a lucid portrait of each of these institutions, and secondly, to appraise the Protectorate's Devolution policy and its ramifications vis-a-vis the development of "an efficient and democratic system of local government" before and after Independence. It is fund that the move towards democratic decentralisation was always, Government policy not withstanding, viewed with suspicion and occasionally impeded and blocked by officers whose main concern was the "a massing of revenue" and administrative efficiency. It is, indeed, arguable that the post-war emphasis on the Devolution of Power was, to some extent, incompatible with the general tenets of Imperialism and Colonial overrule. It is interesting to note, however, that, since 1962,. the Nationalists-led Administrations have, without exception, tended to view local autonomy in much the same way, and virtually, through similar spectacles as their British counterparts before them. They, too, have adopted a paternalistic attitude towards autonomous local institutions, and, as a corollary they have, so far, underdeveloped them. Yet, the absence of a viable system of local government has been, in the eyes of some discerning observers, the main stumbling block to many statecraft oriented programmes. It is argued that local government is the strongest link between the centre and the periphery and, that the failure to involve it in the processes of economic and political development is a flagrant waste of the nation's scarce resources. The belier that this is the case is rapidly gaining ground and, there are many positive signs, in the attitude of some government circles, that the era of the negative approach to local government is at an end. It is believed that the key to future policy is to be found in the development of "free and independent" local government institutions.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2020 17:19

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