Farayi Machamire 11 May 2017
HARARE – Zanu PF followers, together with nearly half of adult
Zimbabweans, believe that a grand opposition coalition led by MDC leader
Morgan Tsvangirai has a good chance of unseating the ruling party in next
year’s watershed elections.
According to the latest survey findings of by think tank Afrobarometer,
the notion of a grand opposition coalition has support among at least 45
percent of Zimbabweans.
This comes as the talks around the planned coalition pacts are gathering
momentum, with the popular Tsvangirai having recently signed memoranda of
understanding with the leader of the National People’s Party (NPP), Joice
Mujuru, and his former secretary-general, Welshman Ncube.
The survey stated that the prospect of a grand opposition coalition had
firm support among 45 percent of Zimbabweans, “including more than 68
percent of MDC-T partisans”.
“Among citizens who do not align themselves with any political party, a
group that makes up half of the adult population, 54 percent also favour
the idea of a grand opposition coalition,” it said.
“Zanu PF supporters reject the idea, 41 percent to 23 percent. Support for
the coalition proposal is stronger among urban residents, better-educated
citizens, and men than among rural dwellers, less-educated respondents and
“Majorities favour the idea in just three of Zimbabwe’s 10 provinces – the
traditional opposition strongholds of Bulawayo (64 percent), Harare (62
percent) and Matabeleland North (54 percent),” it added.
The pan-African research network also said the opposition had been at its
weakest since its controversial defeat in the 2013 elections.
“Since 2013, the number of opposition parties has grown rapidly, there are
reportedly now more than four dozen, although fewer than half a dozen are
considered `serious’ national parties,” Afrobarometer said.