Zimbabwe’s post-2000 elections: More hotly Contested yet less Democratic than in the Past

This article investigates Zimbabwe’s post-2000 elections, why they have
been more hotly contested than previously, and whether they have been
undemocratic. The post-2000 period marked what is arguably the most
turbulent phase in the electoral history of the country since independence in
1980, and Zimbabwe’s elections were de facto degraded, becoming a means of
sustaining incumbents in power. The paper asserts that Zimbabwe’s elections
are mainly a front for hoodwinking both the electorate and observers. They
are not used to provide for the free expression of the will of the people, but to
endorsethe incumbents rather than effectively challenge them. To this extent,
they are manipulated to produce a pre-determined outcome confirming the
current leaders, irrespective of their performance. Supported by empirical
data from interviews and primary sources together with statistical records
from electoral institutions such as the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission
(ZEC), the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZIMSTAT), and
Afrobarometer, the article concludes that elections are mainly for show, to
entrench the incumbents.

File Type: pdf
Categories: Journal of African Elections
journal of african elections vol21 number 1 transparent democratic governance in africa