n African Journal on Conflict Resolution - Constitutionalism, the electoral system and challenges for governance and stability in Zimbabwe

Volume 4, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1562-6997


In February 2000, Zimbabweans went to the polls to vote on a draft constitution for their country. The draft contained some important provisions, amongst other things, for the reform of the country's electoral system. The draft was rejected and a bitter general election campaign ensued in the second quarter of 2000. The general election held in June 2000 and the presidential elections in March 2002 were the most violent in Zimbabwe's electoral history. These developments raise significant questions relating to constitutionalism and the electoral process in Zimbabwe. It was an admission that both constitutional and electoral reform were imperative and indeed overdue that a state-appointed Constitutional Commission (CC) was set up in 1999 after a civil society-driven one, the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) had been founded earlier in 1998. In particular, the political developments since 2000 have pointedly highlighted the challenge to address the increasing deficit in democratic governance and stability in Zimbabwe. This paper attempts to assess critically developments relating to constitutionalism and the electoral system, the linkages between them, and their significance for governance and stability.

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