An assessment of the effectiveness of electoral conflict resolution management committees in Zambia: a case study of Namwala district conflict management committee.

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Chirwa, Enala
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The University of Zambia
This study is an assessment of the effectiveness of the Namwala district electoral conflict management committee in resolving electoral conflicts. Despite the Committee‘s its establishment in 2001, the electoral conflicts in the district have been escalating which even led the ECZ to suspend the campaigns in the 2016 general elections for ten days. The study used a qualitative descriptive research design and found that while the committee have powers and responsibilities to mediate electoral disputes, they still cannot make certain decisions which are a reserved for ECZ and the Judiciary. The committee decisions are nonbinding and therefore their impact on resolving the electoral conflicts to an extent is not considered serious compared to the decisions which are made by the courts of law. Inadequate training of the CMC members, an ad hoc membership arrangement, and inadequate provision of the law are some of the challenges that greatly impact on the CMC effectiveness in resolving electoral conflicts. Therefore, the study has established that increment of awareness, provision of adequate training and materials, strengthening of the legal framework are some of the factors that could help in curbing electoral conflicts. ECZ and all political players should have a platform of discussing electoral issues before, during and even after elections.
Conflict management. , Electoral conflict resolution. , Electoral conflict committee.