‘Zimbabweans terrified of Mugabe’

via ‘Zimbabweans terrified of Mugabe’ – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 8, 2015

An overwhelming majority of Zimbabweans are terrified of President Robert Mugabe, a new research, whose results were released yesterday, has claimed.


The research by the Mass Public Opinion Institute (MPOI) showed that almost half of Zimbabwe’s adult population would vote for Mugabe and his Zanu PF party, were elections to be held tomorrow although they fear him.

“An overwhelming majority (90%) say they are not very or not at all free to criticise the President [Mugabe] and almost half of adult Zimbabweans (49%) are not very free or not free at all to say what they want,” the survey established.

Although the survey did not mention why people feared Mugabe, the 91-year-old veteran leader has been in power for the past 35 years and has been accused of routinely using force and intimidation to subdue the opposition and its supporters.

Opposition parties accuse him of ruling the country with an iron fist using “terror tactics” especially during election time to retain power.

Mugabe has also been accused of not brooking any dissent or tolerating opposition, with the Gukurahundi massacres of the 1980s and violence during the 2008 elections often cited as examples of his use of brute force.

More recently, activist Itai Dzamara was allegedly abducted about seven months ago for demanding that Mugabe leave power and his whereabouts are still unknown.

The MPOI survey, whose results were presented by senior researcher Stephen Ndoma, ran between July 2014 and July this year, with 1 200 respondents.

As with the Afrobarometer survey last year, the MPOI investigation also revealed that Zimbabweans trust church leaders more than they do politicians, but Mugabe is trusted more by citizens compared to his political opponents.

“Of all institutions and key individuals considered in the current survey, religious leaders are the most trusted [at 71%],” the organisation reported.

“Trust for the President is high among the adult population and comes second after religious leaders (at 62%).”

Low levels of trust were recorded for the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec), the police and the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra), as well as opposition parties.

“Trust for opposition parties remains very low; with above half of the adult population (52%) saying they do not trust the opposition,” the survey said.

“Almost half of adult Zimbabweans (47%) say they would vote for Zanu PF if presidential elections were to be held tomorrow. More rural dwellers (55%) than urbanites (30%) said they would vote Zanu PF.

“A greater proportion of women (55%) compared to (43%) men also endorsed this view.

“A fifth said they would vote for Morgan Tsvangirai, 15% refused to answer and 9% said they would not vote.

“Support for Welshman Ncube, Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn and Zapu approaches zero.”

Of those polled in the survey, 34% said they trusted MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai, while former Vice-President Joice Mujuru sits on third position with 29%, although she has not yet formally launched her party.

Former Finance minister Tendai Biti, who now fronts the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), comes a distant fourth with 10%, while Zapu’s Dumiso Dabengwa, Makoni, NCA’s Lovemore Madhuku, MDC’s Welshman Ncube and Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe’s Elton Mangoma prop up the rear in that order
“A plurality said he [Tsvangirai] is hardworking [49%], more than four in 10 [43%] said he is qualified to govern, 35% said he is honest and pluralities where of the opinion that he is peace-loving [49%] and cares for the people [47%].

“Mujuru is third and receives the highest score in terms of hardworking, but receives below majority endorsement on other elements.

“Biti comes in fourth in the rankings, receiving highest score on the aspect of hardworking, but poorest rate on the aspect of honesty,” the results showed.


  • comment-avatar
    R Judd 7 years ago

    And there you have it. People get the leaders they deserve

  • comment-avatar
    Yayano 7 years ago

    I think in a country like Zimbabwe these surveys are pretty meaningless. Most people don’t feel free to express their honest views.