Zimbos want inclusive national dialogue — research

Source: Zimbos want inclusive national dialogue — research | Newsday (News)

BY SILAS NKALA

Most Zimbabweans have said they prefer a national dialogue embracing all stakeholders in the country not to President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s initiated Political Actors Dialogue (Polad), which comprises losing political presidential candidates in the 2018, research has established.

The Zimbabweans made the remarks in the latest survey report by Afrobarometer released on Monday.

The report stated that most citizens think that the national dialogue process should go beyond political parties and include participation by other stakeholders, including businesses, churches and civil society.

“But only about one in four citizens endorse the Polad framework as the only viable option for bringing stability and development to Zimbabwe, while almost half of citizens do not offer an opinion on the Polad framework,” the report read.

“Almost three-fourths (73%) of citizens say the national dialogue process in Zimbabwe should go beyond political parties to include other stakeholders, such as businesses, churches and civil society organisations.

“The call for an inclusive national dialogue process is more prevalent among rural residents (76%) than urbanites (68%) and among men (78%) than women (68%). It is also more common among MDC-Chamisa supporters (85%) than among Zanu PF adherents (67%).”

The report indicated that about one in four citizens say the Polad framework was the only option for bringing about national stability and development in Zimbabwe.

On the other hand, it stated that almost as many (23%) disagree with this assertion, while almost half (47%) neither agree nor disagree, “don’t know”, or refuse to answer the question.

“Among those who offer an opinion on Polad, citizens with post-secondary education are least likely to see it as the only option (42%, compared to 60% among those with primary schooling or no formal education). This view is dominant in Harare (70%), but far less common in Mashonaland Central (31%) and West (35%),” the report added.

Afrobarometer is a pan-African, non-partisan survey research network that provides reliable data on African experiences and evaluations of democracy, governance, and quality of life.

Seven rounds of surveys were conducted in up to 38 countries between 1999 and 2018. Round 8 surveys (2019/21) covered 34 countries. Afrobarometer conducts face-to-face interviews in the language of the respondent’s
choice.

“The Afrobarometer team in Zimbabwe, led by the Mass Public Opinion Institute, interviewed 1 200 adult citizens of Zimbabwe in April 2021. Previous standard Afrobarometer surveys were conducted in Zimbabwe in 1999, 2004, 2005, 2009, 2012, 2014 and 2017,” the report noted.

Mnangagwa is political dialoguing with several losing 2018 presidential candidates among them Thokozani Khupe of MDC-T and Lovemore Madhuku of National Constitutional Assembly.

MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa has vehemently refused to join the group saying he does not recognise Mnangagwa’s victory in the 2018 presidential race.

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