Institutionalisation of legislative leadership in the National Assembly of Zambia, 1964-2011
Ndambwa, Giggie Joe
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This dissertation focuses on analysing the extent to which leadership in the National Assembly of Zambia has become institutionalised during the period 1964 to 2011, with specific attention on political differentiation, political adaptation and structural growth of the committee system. The National Assembly of Zambia is one of the longest continuously functioning legislatures in Southern Africa. The background to this study stems from institutionalisation model first proposed by Samuel P. Huntington, and as applied in other legislatures in Europe, United States and Latin America which show that leadership in those legislatures has acquired value and stability. Although institutionalisation model has proved to be useful in analysing political processes, no significant study has been conducted to analyse the value and stability of leadership in the Zambian legislature.The specific objectives of the study were as follows: to assess the extent to which leadership has become differentiated from the political environment; to determine the extent to which leadership has adapted to changes in the political environment; and to evaluate the growth in internal complexity. In order to achieve these objectives, the study employed a descriptive and explanatory research design. Data was collected from both primary and secondary sources. Qualitative and quantitative methods were used to analyse both primary and secondary data.The major findings of the study were that leadership has become considerably institutionalised, although greater political differentiation, adaptation and strength of the committee system are required for it to acquire more value and stability. The speakership has shown signs of boundedness with 60% of speakers having had legislative experience before elected. However, the boundaries are very weak as evidenced from a high number of uncontested elections (82%). The influence of main political parties on who becomes the speaker also shows how significant they are in the National Assembly. The study also shows that it is hard for religious and ethnic minorities to gain access to the position of speaker. The study shows that leadership has been quite stable, as evidenced by the lower turnover rate (16%) per Parliament since 1964. Also, Speakers’ tenure has also tended to be much longer than expected. However, the study shows leadership lacks flexibility to change generation age of leaders, as evidenced by the generation gap between successive speakers. Leadership just experienced one inter-generation succession in 2011. Finally, the study suggests leadership has grown in structure, as evidenced by the increase in the committee leadership and overall gross expenditure of the National Assembly over the years.