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Electoral Conflict and Justice: The Case of Zimbabwe

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AbstractIn recent years, Africa has faced a new form of conflict arising from disputed elections. Incumbents have refused to vacate office after apparently losing elections, triggering violent conflict. Regional organisations have invested considerable political energy to manage these conflicts. Post-electoral conflict accords (PECAs) resulting in power-sharing have been the favoured modus vivendi with regional mediators. However, little attention has been paid to the crucial issue of justice in the management of these disputes. Like most conflicts, electoral conflict centres on perceived injustice in the electoral process. Therefore, in order to manage these conflicts in an effective way, justice must be acknowledged in both procedural and substantive content. This article focuses on management of electoral conflict in Zimbabwe. It argues that the protracted post-electoral conflict in Zimbabwe can be explained, to a large extent, through failure to acknowledge procedural, distributive and retributive justice concerns.

Affiliations: 1: De Montfort University Leicester UK, URL:


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