Investigating the causes and effects of the 2016 post-electoral conflict in Namwala district of Zambia’s southern province.

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Saka, Florence
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The University of Zambia
Zambia has been making strides to uphold some democratic principles such as having periodic and competitive elections, respect for human rights and respect for the rule of law to mention just a few. The study was aimed at investigating causes and establishing the effects of the 2016 general election conflict which erupted in Namwala District of Southern province, as well as to devise possible measures to mitigate the electoral conflict. The study approach utilised was qualitative and the research design was case study, making it a qualitative case study research. For the purpose of obtaining desired results, the researcher used semi-structured interview guide for the village headmen/women respondents and focus group discussions for the youths who were the key informants. Qualitative research was applied because it is effective in soliciting information about values, opinions and mores of a given demography. Research findings reviewed that post-electoral conflict is caused by ethnicity, greedy and demography. These causes however, are so devastating that they lead to a destabilised society. Electoral conflicts has effects such as destruction of both public and private property, loss of plant, animal and human life and also leads to environmental degradation. This entails that there is need for consented efforts by the officers and regulations for conducting elections or otherwise the situation may be more violent as compare to the previous elections. In conclusion, the study revealed the possible measures to the challenge of electoral conflicts which includes enhancing civic and voter education, discouragement of regional politics and political corruption which is a bad practice in a democratic government and institution and law reforms to suit the current situation of elections in the country. Electoral conflicts are very detrimental to development but at times may bring about positive change in an institution or government.
Post-conflict electoral violence. , Electoral violence and voter turnout. , Electoral conflict. , Political violence--Zambia, Sub-Saharan.