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Publication Details

Reference
Semwayo, Moses (2004) An investigation into the causes of political violence during the March 2002 Presidential election in Zimbabwe, with particular reference to Rusitu Valley, Chimanimani district.
Africa University : 1-49.

Summary
Political violence and multivariate conflicts that have marked the regionís political landscape and prompted by resource distribution, ideological contestation, social differentiation along class, gender, ethnic and racial cleavage, clearly have enormous impact on prospects for nurturing and consolidation of democratic governance in Southern Africa. Multiparty elections held by many sub-Saharan African states throughout the 1990s up to the present have been plagued by a plethora of problems that included political violence, rigging and mismanagement. Elections are central to the theory and practice of constitutional democracy. A decision to exclude particular groups from the political process through political violence represents a fundamental setback about the nature and character of legitimate political conflict going on in Africa.

Investigating how such flaws affect the level and likelihood of political violence requires strict and systematic scrutiny. This study investigated the causes of political violence during the March 2002 Presidential elections in Chimanimani, Zimbabwe. Among the causal factors pointed out included, structural violence, alienation, power hunger, grievances, unequal distribution of resources and idleness on the part of youths. The research was conducted over a period of one-month using a sample of 100 participants who were interviewed by the researcher. Participants answered an administered questionnaire. The major impediment to the complete success of this research was that the spirit of fear was deep skinned to such an extend that people were preferring to discuss nicodemously on what happened. Also, due to limited time, the area was not fully covered by the researcher as it coincided with the raining period.

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