The nexus between political leadership and electoral violence: a study of two major political parties in Lusaka district.
MetadataShow full item record
This study examined the nexus between political leadership and electoral violence with particular focus on two major political parties in Lusaka district. The study was anchored on the following objectives: To explore the leadership styles of the two major political parties; to establish whether or not the leadership styles of the two major political parties could influence violence before, during and after elections; to ascertain whether or not violence was used as a strategy for winning elections and to analyze some campaign messages made by politicians so as to ascertain whether or not they had the potential to influence violence before, during and after elections. Methodologically, the study used a qualitative descriptive survey design. The following instruments were used to gather data: individual interviews, focus group discussion and document analysis. Using a homogeneous purposive sampling, the study comprised ten (10) participants from civil society organizations and one (1) official from ECZ. It also comprised four (4) participants from PF and UPND, who were at management level and two (2) councilors (one from each party). It further comprised fourteen (14) supporters including four youths who had served in the security wings of the two political parties. The findings of the study have shown that all things being equal, there is a nexus between political leadership and electoral violence. In the first place, the study established that political leaders in the two major political parties mostly used leadership styles which were a mixture of autocracy, dictatorship, personalized charismatic and laissez faire; all of which had the potential to influence violence before, during and after elections. Secondly, the study established that in as much as political leaders claimed that they preached peace, they mostly peddled hate messages before, during and after elections. Lastly, the study established that in as much as they were not the carriers of violence themselves, political leaders tolerated violence amongst their supporters and further used it as a strategy for winning elections. The study recommended inter alia the need for political leaders to adopt democratic leadership styles that would foster co-existence, peace, love and reconciliation. Also the need for political leaders to refrain from issuing statements which had the potential to cause violence, and non-usage of violence as a strategy for winning elections or cowing losers into accepting election results.
The University of Zambia