Vol. 6, Issue 8 (2019)
A discursive analysis of the 2016 election campaign discourse in Zambia
Author(s): Clare Mwiinga
Abstract: This study explores the political discourse of the presidential elections in Zambia with a view to establishing the discursive strategies of this discourse. This analysis is done by examining the discourse of one of the presidential candidates during the campaigns running to August 11, 2016 elections. The study is informed by the Systemic Functional Grammar (SFG) theoretical framework. The main research objective that the study addresses relates to how discursive practices are achieved in political discourse by employing certain rhetorical devices and how they are exploited by politicians to achieve their intentions and ambitions. The data for the study were obtained from a number of political rallies by one of the leading political candidate conducted across the country, Mr Hakainde Hichilema. The political candidate was purposefully selected and the speeches were randomly selected. The data gathered were analysed using the analytical tools of Systemic Functional Grammar. The data analysis revealed that the candidate under study employed discourse strategies such as allusion, propagandistic language, and provocative language among others. The study concluded that while the discourse continues to be an effective platform for political struggles and power play, it also highlights the cultural, linguistic, and social factors which has a bearing on the language use of political actors in Zambia.