Histories of Claims and Conflict in a Kenyan Landscape
Pastoralists, ranchers of European descent, conservationists, smallholders, and land investors with political influence converge on the Laikipia plateau in Kenya. Land is claimed by all - the tactics differ. Private property rights are presented, histories of presence are told, charges of immorality are applied, fences are electrified and some resort to violence. The region, marked by enclosures, is left as a tense fragmented frontier.
Marie Gravesen embedded herself in the region prior to a wave of land invasions that swept the plateau leading up to Kenya’s 2017 general election. Through a rich telling of the history of Laikipia’s social, political and environmental dynamics, she invites a deeper understanding of the pre-election violence and general tensions as never done before.
In A Grammar of Lopit, Jonathan Moodie and Rosey Billington provide the first detailed description of Lopit, an Eastern Nilotic language traditionally spoken in the Lopit Mountains in South Sudan. Drawing on extensive primary data, the authors describe the phonology, morphology, and syntax of the Lopit language. Their analyses offer new insights into phenomena characteristic of Nilo-Saharan languages, such as ‘Advanced Tongue Root’ vowel distinctions, tripartitite number marking, and marked-nominative case systems, and they uncover patterns which are previously unattested within the Eastern Nilotic family, such as a three-way contrast in aspect, number marking with the ‘greater singular’, and two kinds of inclusory constructions. This book offers a significant contribution to the descriptive and typological literature on African languages.
Author: Tizian Zumthurm
Tizian Zumthurm uses the extraordinary hospital of an extraordinary man to produce novel insights into the ordinary practice of biomedicine in colonial Central Africa. His investigation of therapeutic routines in surgery, maternity care, psychiatry, and the treatment of dysentery and leprosy reveals the incoherent nature of biomedicine and not just in Africa. Reading rich archival sources against and along the grain, the author combines concepts that appeal to those interested in the history of medicine and colonialism. Through the microcosm of the hospital, Zumthurm brings to light the social worlds of Gabonese patients as well as European staff. By refusing to easily categorize colonial medical encounters, the book challenges our understanding of biomedicine as solely domineering or interactive.
Author: Sean Allison
In A Grammar of Makary Kotoko, Sean Allison provides a thorough description and analysis of Makary Kotoko - a Central Chadic language of Cameroon, framing the discussion within R.M.W. Dixon’s (2010a, 2010b, 2012) Basic Linguistic Theory. Working with an extensive corpus of recorded texts supplemented by interactions with native speakers of the language, the author provides the first full grammar of a Kotoko language. The detailed analysis of the phonology, morphology, syntax, and discourse features of Makary Kotoko is from a functional/typological perspective. Being based on a large number of oral texts, the analysis provides an example-rich description showing the range of variation of the constructions presented while giving insights into Kotoko culture.
Democracy and Electoral Politics in Zambia aims to comprehend the current dynamics of Zambia’s democracy and to understand what was specific about the 2015/2016 election experience. While elections have been central to understanding Zambian politics over the last decade, the coverage they have received in the academic literature has been sparse. This book aims to fill that gap and give a more holistic account of contemporary Zambian electoral dynamics, by providing innovative analysis of political parties, mobilization methods, the constitutional framework, the motivations behind voters’ choices and the adjudication of electoral disputes by the judiciary. This book draws on insights and interviews, public opinion data and innovative surveys that aim to tell a rich and nuanced story about Zambia’s recent electoral history from a variety of disciplinary approaches.

Contributors include: Tinenenji Banda, Nicole Beardsworth, John Bwalya, Privilege Haang’andu, Erin Hern, Marja Hinfelaar, Dae Un Hong, O’Brien Kaaba, Robby Kapesa, Chanda Mfula, Jotham Momba, Biggie Joe Ndambwa, Muna Ndulo, Jeremy Seekings, Hangala Siachiwena, Sishuwa Sishuwa, Owen Sichone, Aaron Siwale, Michael Wahman.

Abstract

Miniaturized stone tools made by controlled fracture are reported from nearly every continent where archaeologists have systematically looked for them. While similarities in technology are acknowledged between regions, few detailed inter-regional comparative studies have been conducted. Our paper addresses this gap, presenting results of a comparative lithic technological study between Klipfonteinrand and Sehonghong – two large rock shelters in southern Africa. Both sites contain Late Glacial (~18-11 kcal BP) lithic assemblages, though they are located in regions with different geologies, climates and environments. Results demonstrate that lithic miniaturization manifests differently in these different regions. Both assemblages provide evidence for small blade production, though key differences exist in terms of the specific technological composition of this evidence, the raw materials selected, the role played by bipolar reduction and the manner in which lithic reduction was organized. Patterned variability of this nature demonstrates that humans deployed miniaturized technologies strategically in relation to local conditions.

In: Journal of African Archaeology

Abstract

Literature on elections and democratic consolidation in Africa shows that incumbents win most elections by creating uneven electoral playing fields. Yet, Zambia is among a small but growing number of countries on the continent where elections are competitively contested between incumbent and opposition parties, resulting in one recent turnover, despite an uneven playing field. This chapter examines recent Zambian elections and shows that a combination of factors i.e. popular support for the ruling party, factionalism within the ruling party, and opposition strategies, help to explain recent electoral outcomes, including a turnover in 2011 and narrow incumbent victories in 2015 and 2016.

In: Democracy and Electoral Politics in Zambia
Author: O’Brien Kaaba

Abstract

Elections allow people to select leaders and to hold those leaders accountable. But this can only be done in an environment that does not vitiate the people’s free will and choice and in a political environment that is not lopsided and free of violence, corruption and cheating. Once these vices assail an election, there is always a possibility that the election result does not reflect the will of the people. Those aggrieved may wish to seek redress. This chapter, therefore, looks at one form of redress, adjudication, available to a person aggrieved with presidential election results. The chapter sets out the legal framework for the adjudication of disputed presidential election results and then discusses how the courts have in concrete cases resolved the disputes.

In: Democracy and Electoral Politics in Zambia
In: Democracy and Electoral Politics in Zambia

Abstract

The legitimacy of elections cannot be separated from the competency, professionalism and independence of the institution administering them. In Zambia, the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ecz) is the institution entrusted by law with the administration of elections. The Constitution purports to establish it as an independent or autonomous body, detached from political considerations. This chapter, however, argues that the ecz, like many other institutions in the country, is beholden to the executive and lacks autonomy. To demonstrate this, the chapter discusses the historical foundation of the Commission, the establishment, composition, functions and powers of the Commission, as well as the financing of the Commission and its relations with key stakeholders such as opposition political parties, civil society and donors.

In: Democracy and Electoral Politics in Zambia