JAE Volume 19 Number 2 Oct 2020

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Editor: Denis Kadima
Managing Editor: Heather Acott

Contributors: Joseph Olusegun Adebayo, Blessing Makwambeni, Colin Thakur, Jamil Ddamulira Mujuzi, Mwiza Jo Nkhata, Janet Cherry, Gary Prevost, Beauty Vambe, Sipho Mantula, Limukani Mathe, Arthur Fidelis Chikerema, Ogochukwu Nzewi

Key terms: elections, electoral management, Fourth Industrial Revolution, novel coronavirus, pandemic, Uganda; prisoners; vote; Kalali Steven v Attorney General and the Electoral, Commission; diaspora; elections, elections, public resources, courts, party funding, civil society, electoral cycle, South Africa, elections, voting behaviour, single-party dominance, voter turnout, African dispute resolution; cross-boundary disputes; electoral demarcation; community dialogues; constitutional democracy; Moutse community, social contract, elections, democracy, campaign communication, digital technologies, biometric voter registration (BVR), voters' roll, social networking sites (SNSs), succession politics, state administration, constitutionalism, regime, change, Zimbabwe

Covid-19, Fourth Industrial Revolution and the Future of Elections in Africa

Joseph Olusegun Adebayo, Blessing Makwambeni and Colin Thakur

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Joseph Olusegun Adebayo is a research fellow, Department of Journalism and Media Studies, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa
Blessing Makwambeni is research and postgraduate coordinator, Media Department Public Relations Programme, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa
Colin Thakur is the research chair of digitalisation at InSeta and BankSeta, Durban University of Technology, South Africa

ABSTRACT: The initial focus of this study was on exploring the potential impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) on future elections in Africa. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is fundamentally changing the way we live, work and relate to one another. In its scale and complexity, 4IR could change humanity and human existence as we presently know it. The suddenness with which the novel coronavirus pandemic has shut down life across the globe, including the cancellation and postponement of scheduled elections, led to a realignment of the research goals. The study thus includes ways in which 4IR and unforeseen global emergencies like pandemics can impact future elections, with specific reference to Africa.

Prisoners' Right to Vote in Uganda: Comment on Kalali Steven v Attorney General and the Electoral Commission

Jamil Ddamulira Mujuzi

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Jamil Ddamulira Mujuzi is a professor in the Faculty of Law, University of the Western Cape, South Africa

ABSTRACT: Article 59 of the Constitution of Uganda (1995) provides for the right to vote. Although the Constitution does not prohibit prisoners from voting, the Uganda Electoral Commission has never made arrangements for prisoners to vote. On 17 June 2020, in the case of Kalali Steven v Attorney General and the Electoral Commission, the Ugandan High Court held that prisoners and Ugandans in the diaspora have a right to vote and that the Electoral Commission should put in place arrangements for them to vote. Uganda will have elections in 2021. The purpose of this article is to suggest practical ways in which the Electoral Commission can comply with the High Court judgement. It is argued, inter alia, that there is no need for legislation to be enacted or amended to give effect to the High Court judgment.

Courts and the Mediation of Public Resource (Ab)use during Elections in Malawi

Mwiza Jo Nkhata

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Mwiza Jo Nkhata is extraordinary professor, Free State Centre for Human Rights, University of the Free State

ABSTRACT: The (ab)use of public resources during elections in Malawi is a recurrent phenomenon. The judicial mediation of the (ab)use of public resources has, however, not been extensive. In instances where courts have intervened, their pronouncements have done little to stem the practice, especially by incumbents. This paper interrogates the judicial regulation of the (ab)use of public resources during elections in Malawi. Among other things, it establishes that state media remains one of the most highly contested resources during elections. The paper demonstrates that the judicial understanding of public resources is narrow and may shield politicians from censure. In addition, political actors in Malawi seem interested in questioning the (ab)use of public resources only in the period immediately preceding polling without concern about any (ab)use during the rest of the electoral cycle.

Challenges to the Single-Party Dominance of the African National Congress

Janet Cherry and Gary Prevost

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Janet Cherry is professor of Development Studies at Nelson Mandela University, Port Elizabeth
Gary Prevost is professor emeritus of Political Science at the College of St. Benedict and St. John's University, and research associate at Nelson Mandela University, Port Elizabeth

ABSTRACT: This article explores the challenges to the African National Congress (ANC) in its traditional stronghold of the Port Elizabeth working-class township of Kwazakhele. The authors argue that this area has been the embodiment of single-party dominance for decades. Using exit polling and a post-election survey, the article details the challenges to the ANC from both reduced voter turnout and rising support for the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF). The article concludes that the end of the ANC dominance in Kwazakhele incoming elections is possible but is not a foregone conclusion.

The Impact of Cross-Boundary Electoral Demarcation Disputes in South Africa after 1994

Beauty Vambe and Sipho Mantula

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Beauty Vambe is a researcher in the Department of Mercantile Law, University of South Africa, Pretoria
Sipho Mantula is an advocate and researcher at the Thabo Mbeki African Leadership Institute, University of South Africa, Pretoria

ABSTRACT: The article investigates the impact of cross-boundary electoral demarcation disputes between the Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces after 1994. The article further examines how the electoral demarcation disputes can be resolved by negotiating with the dissatisfied communities. Moutse is located within a community that straddles north-western Mpumalanga and southern Limpopo provinces in South Africa. In 2005 the community members of Moutse wards 5 and 6 were dissatisfied by the decision of the South African national government, Limpopo and Mpumalanga provincial governments for relocating them under a newly demarcated administrative boundary without hearing the views of the community. The article used community dialogues for its research. This approach is explained predominantly by qualitative and quantitative approaches to indicate processes of data collection, to explain the nature of the problem and explore the findings of communitybased research. The study reveals that violent disruptions and protests by community members can be avoided if community voices are taken into consideration. The article recommends that state institutions that support constitutional democracy need to show the administrative and political will to transform electoral demarcation challenges and implement effective democratic principles. In conclusion, advanced institutional planning and its transparent application must be emphasised.

Campaign Communication in Nigeria's 2019 General Elections: Unfulfilled Party Pledges and Voter Engagement without a Social Contract

Mike Omilusi

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Mike Omilusi is a lecturer in the Department of Political Science, Ekiti State University, Nigeria

ABSTRACT: Broken campaign promises challenge the sanctity of the electoral process in Nigeria. Six decades after political independence and six electoral cycles in the last two decades of the Fourth Republic, there are inadequate legal frameworks and a lack of political will to change the narrative. Ambushing the voters with plans of action on the eve of every election remains a constant ritual to legitimise party campaigns in both digital media and at heavily mobilised rallies, often with limited substance. The general purpose of this study is twofold. First, to provide analysis of campaign communication and the extent to which it influences the participation of citizens in the electoral process. Second, to investigate the electorate's understanding of policy issues inherent in the 2019 election manifestos of the two dominant political parties, All Progressive Congress (APC) and People's Democratic Party (PDP), and how other elements shape perception and trust in elected representatives/ government. The research design relies on sample surveys and in-depth interviews, and seeks to identify, within the context of an electoral cycle, why conversations between public office seekers and voters do not translate into a concrete social contract or generate time-bound inclusive policies.

The Challenges and Opportunities of Web 2.0 Elections: The Case of Zimbabwe

Limukani Mathe

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Limukani Mathe is a postdoctoral research fellow at the School of Communication, University of Johannesburg

ABSTRACT: This study analyses different perspectives of the challenges and opportunities of using Web 2.0 technology with specific reference to Zimbabwe's 2018 general elections. It discusses digital tools and resources such as social networking sites (SNSs) and biometric voter registration (BVR) for the management of the voters' roll. The study includes in-depth interviews with several politicians and ZEC officials to discuss the challenges and opportunities of Web 2.0 in Zimbabwe's elections. Informed by theoretical concepts on technology and politics, the study establishes that technology is not a panacea but can be used as an apparatus. This study concludes that political institutions in Zimbabwe should reach consensus that the country will not conduct another election until electoral reforms are implemented because technology alone cannot overcome political challenges. Thus, the election monitoring body should be sufficiently credible to ensure a free and fair election.

Succession Politics and State Administration in Africa: The Case of Zimbabwe

Arthur Fidelis Chikerema and Ogochukwu Nzewi

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Arthur Fidelis Chikerema is a lecturer in the Department of Politics and Public Management, Midlands State University, Zimbabwe
Ogochukwu Nzewi is a professor in the Department of Public Administration, University of Fort Hare, South Africa

ABSTRACT: The paper is a critical inquiry into the influence of succession politics on state administration in Africa, with particular reference to Zimbabwe, and unpacks the interactive boundaries and conceptual overlaps in this field. This study was based on 18 qualitative in-depth interviews conducted with key informants using the purposive sampling technique, complemented by extensive document review. The findings of the study show that succession politics in Africa includes executive dominance, egocentrism and excessive appointive powers. These are compounded by the lack of an institutional framework of succession, which in turn undermines the professional independence of the bureaucracy and inhibits the pursuit of comprehensive governance. The findings also isolate Zimbabwe as a victim of political, societal and historical factors that exacerbate the succession dilemma. In its recommendations, the paper argues that the succession challenge faced by the continent, in particular Zimbabwe, will continue to hound succession trends and responsive administration unless broad-based reforms are instituted to dismantle the historical legacies embedded in the political systems.