The Youth Factor in Zimbabwe’s 2013 Harmonised Elections

The youth in Zimbabwe have often been described as disenfranchised,
corruptible and susceptible to manipulation by politicians. This narrative
assumes that the youth are a homogenous group, uniform in their grievances
and consensual about strategies to resolve them. Analysing the case of youth
participation in the 2013 harmonised elections in Zimbabwe, this article
challenges that assumption by arguing that the youth are polarised and
struggling to articulate a national objective that might be able to shift the
country’s political discourse. It contends that the majority of Zimbabwean
youth act as loosely affiliated individuals seeking personal rather than group
benefits. At the same time, by assessing the engagement of youth within
political parties either as supporters or officials, the article further argues that
the structural dynamics of these political parties deny the youth agency and
make them conform. It therefore concludes that participation by the youth
in the 2013 elections was mainly driven by individual interests rather than
collective grievances or political identity

File Type: pdf
Categories: Journal of African Elections
Tags: electoral violence, Government of National Unity, MDC-T, ZANU-PF
journal of african elections vol13 number 2 transparent democratic governance in africa