Mugabe taking Zim in wrong direction

Mugabe taking Zim in wrong direction

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ZIMBABWE – THE majority of Zimbabweans believe the country is heading in the wrong direction, putting a damper on claims of an imminent economic “take-off” by President Robert Mugabe.
According to a survey by the Mass Public Opinion Institute (MPOI) released on Tuesday, 47% of Zimbabweans think Mugabe is taking the country “into the mountains”. MPOI interviewed a cross section of citizens in urban and rural settings.

“Almost half of adult Zimbabweans felt the country was going in the wrong direction,” the report said.

This is in stark contrast to Mugabe’s pronouncements made during a rare State of the Nation Address, his first in eight years.

The MPOI report said the micro and macro-economic conditions in Zimbabwe remained “gloomy”.

“Pluralities (of those interviewed) thought the micro and macro-economic and political conditions were going to deteriorate in 12 months’ time,” MPOI said.

A majority, (56%) of adult Zimbabweans had never heard of the government’s economic blueprint, ZimAsset. Of those who had heard about this economic blueprint (ie the 43% of the survey respondents), a plurality of 42% held the view that the plan is not a remedy to Zimbabwe’s development challenges; another 31% felt it was a remedy to a ‘moderate’ or ‘large extent’,” MPOI concluded.

Even more damning is the conclusion by the report that most Zimbabweans, including those that support the ruling Zanu PF party, believe that the cancer of corruption continued to gnaw at the socio-economic fabric of the country instead of Mugabe’s tired “sanctions mantra”.

“Slightly more than half (53%) of Zimbabwe’s adult population shared the view that corruption, rather than sanctions (35%), is to blame for the economic woes.

“Except for political party affiliation, this view was shared by ordinary Zimbabweans across gender, age groups, province and level of education,” the report added.

MPOI researcher Steven Ndoma told NewsDay yesterday that the research was conducted late last year, but held back because of “issues beyond our control”.

“But we believe it still reflects the situation on the ground even to date,” Ndoma said.

In findings that were likely to stir a hornet’s nest within the country’s opposition movement, the MPOI report said Mugabe would win a presidential poll if it were held “tomorrow”.

Of the 2 400 polled, 42% said they would vote Mugabe into power while 21% said they would opt for MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai. Former Cabinet ministers Tendai Biti (Finance), Dumiso Dabengwa (Home Affairs) and Welshman Ncube (Industry and Commerce), who all now front different political outfits, would receive no vote according to the survey.

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