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Violent election related violence in Zimbabwe: A threat to peace and human security?

Posted on 2022-09-27 10:06:56 / by Tendai Makaripe

Abstract


While political violence is endemic in Zimbabwean politics, it generally surges in intensity and impact during election times. Since independence, electoral violence has characterised the country’s plebiscites which has contributed to many of these elections being dismissed by some observers as not free and free. This conclusion was mainly reached because of incidences of intimidation and violence perpetrated by political players. The violence is mainly attributable to factors like inter and intra party conflicts, perceived mismanagement of elections by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), media impact, political exclusion among others. If left unaddressed, these factors pose a serious threat to the human security status of Zimbabweans as the country braces for the 2023 general elections because low intensity or localised violence is a ‘training ground’ for violent campaigns of a greater magnitude like civil wars. This article seeks to establish how electoral violence can be mitigated in Zimbabwe so as to ensure that the human security status of Zimbabweans can be protected. The article recommends that political parties improve internal conflict management systems enshrined in their constitutions as well as implementing electoral reforms aimed at dodging winner-take-all elections while promoting broad based political solutions which allow for electoral losers to have a role in the system.


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Africa Online & Publications Library
Africa Online & Publications Library
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