The 2018 harmonised elections in Zimbabwe

An example of electoral democracy?

  • Tinashe Sithole


This study addresses why failure by the Zimbabwean Government to implement preelection reforms (arising from 2013) subsequently resulted in post-election violence in 2018. Outstanding electoral reforms, such as the lack of media reform; impartiality of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC); diaspora vote; unfair voter registration process; and security sector reform (SSR) adversely affected the outcome of the 2018 election. These issues have affected electoral democracy in Zimbabwe. Historically they have impacted the quality and acceptability of elections in the country and often resulted in election-related conflict, as was the case on 1 August 2018. In the light of the acceptance of election results in Zimbabwe, where elections usually end in avoidable conflicts, calls by opposition parties and civil societies for electoral reforms are essential before the 2023 election. This concludes that the lack of electoral reform, unless resolved, will continue to cause election-related violence. The paper is based
on both primary and secondary sources, as well as informal interactions with academic colleagues resident in Zimbabwe, who have experience of political transformation since the 2017 coup and the 2018 election violence.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1995-641X
print ISSN: 0256-2804