Elections, Violence and Transitional Justice in Africa  book cover
1st Edition

Elections, Violence and Transitional Justice in Africa

ISBN 9780367655280
Published May 30, 2022 by Routledge
202 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Elections in Africa are competitive in nature and can be manipulated by incumbents to extend and entrench their rule through changes to constitutions, intimidation of opponents, excess use of police force and, in some cases, assassinations of dissident voices. Ethnic cleavages are also exploited by contestants to incite and mobilize unsuspecting masses to pursue their electoral ambitions which can lead to political instability. In many African countries, violence before, during and after elections has become a regrettable norm rather than the exception. The function of transitional justice is to address the legacy of human rights atrocities, political violence and societal harm resulting from prior misrule or violent conflicts, with a view to establishing fair, democratic and inclusive societies.

This book interrogates the potential intersection between transitional justice and electoral processes. Specifically, it examines the hypothesis that transitional justice interventions that strive to address historical injustices perpetrated by violence, conflict and entrenched by socio-political impunity, can initiate preventive measures against electoral violence through redress, accountability and institutional reforms. The contributors to this volume have engaged with country case studies from across Africa, while examining the intersection between transitional justice and electoral processes. Hence, this is a timely volume that highlights the uninterrogated nexus between elections, violence and transitional justice in Africa.

Table of Contents


Elias O. Opongo and Tim Murithi

1 Election Financing and Violence: Implication for Transitional Justice in Nigeria, Kenya and Sierra Leone

Elias O. Opongo

2 Media and Electoral Violence in Kenya and Nigeria: Holding Journalists Accountable in Transitional Justice Processes

Joseph Olusegun Adebayo

3 Electoral Systems, Election Outcomes and Legal Frameworks: A Challenge to Transitional Justice Process in South Sudan, Rwanda and Uganda

C.A. Mumma-Martinon

4 Youth and Electoral Violence in Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo: Establishing Political Accountability in Transitional Justice contexts

Patrick Hajayandi

5 Women in Politics: Gender, Security and Transitional Justice in Electoral Processes in Africa

Lanoi Maloiy

6 Electoral Observation and Transitional Justice in Southern Africa: A Comparative Analysis of Zimbabwe and Angola

Clever Chikwanda

7 The International Criminal Court and Electoral Justice in Kenya and Côte d’Ivoire

Elias O. Opongo

8 Transitional Justice and the Mitigation of Electoral Violence through Amani Mashinani Model in Uasin Gishu County, Kenya

Susan Mbula Kilonzo

9 Electoral Processes as Platforms for Transitional Justice: Rethinking Governance Systems in Africa

Tim Murithi

Conclusion: Elections, Transitional Justice and the Way Forward

Tim Murithi and Elias O. Opongo


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Elias O. Opongo is a senior lecturer at Hekima Institute of Peace Studies and International Relations, Hekima University College, Nairobi, Kenya, and the director of the Centre for Research, Training and Publications at the same university.

Tim Murithi is Head, Peacebuilding Interventions Programme, Institute for Justice and Reconciliation, Cape Town, South Africa; Extraordinary Professor of African Studies, University of the Free State; and Research Associate, Institute for Democracy, Citizenship and Public Policy in Africa, University of Cape Town.


"Through electoral violence, power is exercised and wealth amassed. Democracy is distorted.In many African countries, violence before, during and after elections has become a regrettable norm rather than the exception. Traversing a wide array of cases, this book’s contributors argue that transitional justice offers an approach to mitigate against electoral violence through institutional reforms and political accountability. Politicians, parliamentarians, peace practitioners and academics will benefit from their timely and incisive insights."

Prof. Anthoni at University of Witswatersrand, South Africa