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Survey: Majority of Zimbabweans Fear Outbreak of Election Campaign Violence

  • Gibbs Dube

FILE: Supporters of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, at his party's 13th annual conference, in Gweru about 250 Kilometres south west of the capital Harare, Friday, Dec. 7, 2012. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

Fifty two percent of Zimbabweans say they personally fear becoming victims of political intimidation or violence during election campaigns.

The latest findings by Afrobarometer indicate that far more urbanites (64%) than rural residents (46%) say they fear political intimidation or violence during election campaigns “somewhat” or “a lot,” and women (58%) are more likely than men (47%) to express such fear.

“Fear of political intimidation and violence during election time decreases with age (ranging from 57% of youth aged 18-35 to 42% of elders aged 56 and older) and increases with respondents’ education level, from 24% of those with no formal education to 57% of those with secondary or post-secondary qualifications.

“A huge partisan divide exists on this question: MDC-T supporters (69%) and uncommitted respondents (64%) are more than twice as likely as ZANU-PF adherents (28%) to fear becoming victims of political intimidation or violence during election campaigns. A majority of residents in four provinces say they are at least “somewhat” fearful of election-related intimidation or violence: Harare (71%), Manicaland (70%), Bulawayo (57%), and Mashonaland East (53%). By contrast, a majority of citizens in Midlands (52%) and Matabeleland South (51%) say they do “not at all” fear political intimidation or violence during election time.”

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