President remains first choice: Survey . . . scores highly in all critical …


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ZIMBABWE – Zimbabweans have faith in President Mugabe and Zanu-PF’s leadership and if elections are to be held today, the revolutionary party will emphatically romp to victory, a survey prepared by a local political pollster, Mass Public Opinion Institute (MPOI), revealed yesterday.

This comes barely two months after another think-tank, Ghanaian-based Afrobarometer, released a survey titled “MDC-T defeat in Zimbabwe: Was it only due to intimidation?” confirming that President Mugabe was voted into power due to his performance; and at a time when the opposition is busy trying to forge a coalition to challenge Zanu-PF in the 2018 harmonised elections.

Several key opposition figures, among them Mr Gorden Moyo of the People’s Democratic Party, are on record saying no opposition party has the capacity to dethrone Zanu-PF on its own.

“Presently, opposition is heavily fragmented, factionalised and factoralised, hence too enfeebled to successfully mount a serious challenge against Zanu-PF hegemony.

“There is no single opposition party that can singularly upstage the incumbent in Zimbabwe at the moment,” Gorden Moyo wrote in an article published by a privately-owned weekly this week.

Afrobarometer says President Mugabe was retained by the country’s electorate out of trust, not fear, managing to keep his closest rival and MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai at bay.

In MPOI’s survey, independently conducted among Zimbabweans in the country’s 10 provinces, it was found that the majority of adult Zimbabweans have the highest regard for President Mugabe on all five subjects that were under scrutiny.

President Mugabe scored high in critical areas including: hardworking, qualified to govern, honest, peace-loving and care for the people.

The President got 71 percent for hardworking, qualified to govern (63 percent), honest (60 percent), peace-loving (72 percent) and 64 percent for caring for the people.

The think tank interviewed 1 200 adult Zimbabweans between July 6 and 18 this year drawn from the country’s 10 provinces.

MPOI said despite some Zimbabweans expressing discontent with the overall direction the country was taking in terms of its economic performance, the majority of the people still approved of President Mugabe’s leadership.

“On key findings on qualities of leadership and alternative leadership in Zimbabwe, majority of adult Zimbabweans have highest regard for President Mugabe on all the five aspects that were the subject of scrutiny,” reads part of the report.

On the other hand, MDC-T leader Mr Tsvangirai, as usual played second fiddle to President Mugabe, coming second and received below majority ratings on all the five key areas.

On hardworking, he scored 49 percent, qualified to govern (43 percent), honesty (35 percent) while on peace loving and caring for the people he received 49 percent and 47 percent, respectively.

“Former Vice President Joice Mujuru is in third position and receives highest score in terms of hard work, but receives below majority endorsement on the other elements.

“PDP (People’s Democratic Party) leader (Mr) Tendai Biti comes in fourth place in the rankings, receiving highest score in terms of hard working, but poorest rate on the aspect of honesty.” Mavambo/

Kusile/Dawn leader Dr Simba Makoni, was fifth in terms of the survey.

“Opposition leaders Dr Dumiso Dabengwa, Prof Welshman Ncube, Prof Lovemore Madhuku and Mr Elton Mangoma proved to be less popular with only an average of about 10 percent of survey respondents positively assessing the four leaders on the five leadership attributes which were under scrutiny.”

MPOI said in terms of voting, almost half of the adult Zimbabwean population (47 percent) said they would vote for Zanu-PF if presidential elections were to be held “tomorrow”.

About 55 percent of rural dwellers, 30 percent urbanites, said would vote for Zanu-PF, according to the survey.

“A fifth (20 percent) said they would vote for Morgan Tsvangirai, 15 percent refused to answer and nine percent said they would not vote. Support for Welshman Ncube, Mavambo/Dawn/Kusile and Zapu-Dabengwa approaches zero.”

Various studies before and after the July 2013 elections have shown President Mugabe edging Mr Tsvangirai in popularity.

This is despite the fact that the country is under Western sanctions designed to hurt the economy and make the people vote President Mugabe out of office.

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