Original Research

Election violence in Africa: Using John 1:1 ‘Eν ἀρχῇ’ as a remedial solution

Canisius Mwandayi, Martin Mukole
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 45, No 1 | a2861 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v45i1.2861 | © 2024 Canisius Mwandayi, Martin Mukole | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 01 April 2023 | Published: 09 May 2024

About the author(s)

Canisius Mwandayi, Institute of Theology & Religious Studies, College of Social Sciences, Theology, Humanities & Education, Africa University, Mutare, Zimbabwe
Martin Mukole, Department of New Testament and Old Testament, Faculte de Theologie, Universite Methodiste de, Lubumbashi (UML), Lubumbashi, Congo, the Democratic Republic of the


Whilst the term ‘elections’ insinuates some democratic space within a given electorate, elections on the African continent have often displayed an opposite trajectory as they tend to thwart that democratic space. Many a time, they have been characterised by sharp divisions leading thus to violence and atrocities of every kind. It is a great concern for unity in our motherland, Africa, which generates interest in this article to proffer a roadmap that can help address challenges that threaten to swirl the continent into a state of constant chaos and locus known for manslaughter. Using a hermeneutic of identification or cultural hermeneutics whereby readers identify themselves with the biblical characters and culture, we make reference to John 1:1 ἐν ἀρχῇ, which speaks unity in the Godhead as our roadmap. The text shows that unity is one of the intrinsic values of the community born out of their ontological unity. In the same way, disciples of the community of God must be characterized by unity while they are still in the world. It is thus our argument that Africans in their interpersonal relationships, including their political interactions, need to mirror the oneness of the Trinity and not follow the dictates of their societies plagued by social classifications.

Interdisciplinary implications: The issue of violence is by definition of multi-disciplinary interest. This contribution addresses the ever-recurring problem of election violence in Africa, which is also of significance within multiple disciplines including biblical studies, gender studies, political theology as well as even history.


Africa; believing community; politics; elections; community of God; unity; John 1:1.

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions


Total abstract views: 287
Total article views: 179

Crossref Citations

No related citations found.