Multiparty Democracy and Wildlife: Rules, Animals and Patronage in Zambia, 1964-1972


"In this paper, I explain why the UNIP government failed to follow its own preindependence calls for giving Zambians citizens greater access to wildlife resources. More importantly, I explain how UNIP survived this widely unpopular stance in a multiparty system with a universal franchise. I argue that the structure of Zambia's political institutions created incentives for the ruling party to ignore the electorate's desire for greater hunting. First, President Kaunda, who held considerable power over party policy, favored a strong conservation policy. Second, electoral and party rules did not reward those parliamentarians who represented their constituents' call for greater access to wild animals. Rather, the rules punished members of UNIP - the dominant party -- for opposing Kaunda and UNIP's Central Committee. Thus, MPs followed President Kaunda's preference for strong wildlife conservation and did not represent voters' desires. Third, by establishing government control over the wildlife sector through the National Parks and Wildlife Act, UNIP used wildlife to reward its followers. The UNIP government distributed jobs, game meat and trophies to supporters, and only selectively enforced the Act's provisions."



wildlife, rules, democracy, Workshop