African Journal of
History and Culture

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Hist. Cult.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-6672
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJHC
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 170


Elections and electoral processes in Africa: A gimmick or a curse?

Jephias Mapuva
Bindura University of Science Education, Faculty of Science, Department of Geography (Development Studies), Bindura, (Zimbabwe).
Email: [email protected]

  • Article Number - 5A3AB3C40952
  • Vol.5(5), pp. 87-95 , July 2013
  •  Accepted: 10 May 2013
  •  Published: 31 July 2013



This paper seeks to highlight the controversial way elections have been held in some countries, which have led to the loss of confidence with the results, in some cases, the disputed elections has led to civil wars, re-run of the electoral process or the formation of coalitions. Election time on the African continent has therefore brought about anxiety to both the contesting political parties and the electorate. In the battle for political hegemony, pre- and post-electoral violence has become commonplace. But the most susceptible victims of the battle for political supremacy have been the electorate who are swayed left right and centre by completing political parties. The aftermath of most elections has left citizens licking their wounds as they take stock of the brunt of supporting what-ever political party of their choice. To avoid outright defeat, most ruling political parties have been able to manipulate both the vote and state security machinery to their advantage. Legislation governing the conduct of free and fair elections has not been of much use either as it has also been manipulated. This paper explores the vagaries associated with elections on the African continent. The paper utilises available debates to support the argument of cases of flawed electoral processes on the African continent.


Key words: Voters, election malpractice, elections, Africa, electorates, Kenya, Zimbabwe, South Africa.

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