Can Constructive Dailogue Alone Solve Zambia's Problems?
Keywords:Zambia, political dialogue, solutions, electoral violence, public diplomacy
This paper examines the donor/partnership relationships of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID/Zambia) and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) Zambia with local non-governmental organisations - the Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) and the Southern Africa Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (SACCORD) respectively on how the Western entities use public diplomacy and smart power as vehicles to alleviate electoral violence; the paper looks at what dialoguing efforts have been made by Zambian political parties and other actors in the period 2011 to 2016 to minimise political violence. The study was a case study of FODEP and SACCORD members. Primary data was gathered using semi-structured questionnaires; interviews with staff at the local NGOs and with USAID/Zambia and FES Zambia employees were done. Secondary research was also conducted; the data was analysed using triangulation method. The findings are that Zambia’s democratic credibility in Africa is regressing due to conflicting political parties inability to dialogue over differences; and that USAID/Zambia and FES Zambia, FODEP and SACCORD need to increase their efforts to eradicate electoral violence by sponsoring and carrying out more effective communications programs targeting poor, uneducated male-youths from shanty compounds.