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Survey: Mnangagwa to Beat Chamisa in Presidential Election, Won't Get Enough Votes to Form Govt

FILE: Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa prepares to inspect the guard of honour during the celebrations for the country's 38th anniversary of Independence at the National Sports Staduim in Harare, Wednesday, April, 18, 2018. Thousands of people gathered f
FILE: Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa prepares to inspect the guard of honour during the celebrations for the country's 38th anniversary of Independence at the National Sports Staduim in Harare, Wednesday, April, 18, 2018. Thousands of people gathered f

A survey conducted by Afrobarometer indicates that President Emmerson will win the presidential election if it was held now but won’t have the required votes to form the next government.

In its latest survey in Zimbabwe, conducted by Mass Public Opinion Institute between April 28 and May 13, Afrobarometer says Mnangagwa would garner 44 percent of the vote while his nearest rival, Nelson Chamisa of the Movement for Democratic Change, will get about 28 percent.

At least 2,400 people, mostly registered and likely voters, participated in the survey in which 3% said the election will be too close to call, 7% declined to respond to questions and 16% were not sure of the outcome of the presidential poll.

At least 2% said the MDC Alliance will come third in the presidential election. Chamisa is the MDC Alliance presidential candidate.

Another new Zimbabwean poll shows the popularity of President Emmerson Mnangagwa from the ruling ZANU-PF party, stands at 69% ahead of the forthcoming July general election.

He is followed in second place by Nelson Chamisa, leader of the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change MDC Alliance, while former vice president Joice Mujuru, and Thokozani Khupe of (MDC-T) follow in that order.

The poll released by Trends and Insights For Africa, an African based full market research, showed that 55% of Zimbabweans feel the country is heading in the right direction. The survey also showed that 63 % of the population have confidence in the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.

This, despite opposition accusations that previous elections organized by the electoral commission have been fraught with voter irregularities and rigging in favor of the ZANU-PF. Accusations both the ruling party and the electoral commission deny.

According to Afrobarometer, among political-party alliances/coalitions, the MDC Alliance is the best known and most popular ahead of the 2018 harmonized elections.

“ZANU-PF is the most liked political party, although it commands less than half of the adult population. More than half (56%) of Zimbabweans think that opposition parties can do better in the 2018 elections if they form a coalition rather than compete as separate entities.”

In terms of people’s attitudes towards political parties, the survey shows that “not quite half of Zimbabweans say they trust the ruling party (48%), President Mnangagwa (47%), and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (46%) ‘somewhat’ or ‘a lot.’

“Trust in opposition political parties is lower, while religious leaders command the greatest trust (67%) among Zimbabweans. About half (49%) of Zimbabweans ‘approve’ or ‘strongly approve’ of President Mnangagwa’s job performance, and a majority (57%) expect him to govern differently than his predecessor.”

At the same time, according to the Afrobatometer survey, xix in 10 Zimbabweans (62%) say the country is going in the wrong direction.

“A similar majority (63%) blame the government for the overall direction of the country. More urbanites (68%) than rural residents (59%) see the country as going in the wrong direction.”

Public opinion is divided on the military intervention that led to the resignation of former president Robert Mugabe.

“Four in 10 (41%) say it was the right thing to do; about the same proportion (40%) say it was wrong but necessary. Seven in 10 Zimbabweans (71%) across all walks of life reject military rule in general. An almost equally strong majority (68%) say the armed forces are for the external defence and security of Zimbabwe and must not be involved at all in the country’s politics.”

A huge majority (84%) say Zimbabweans should choose leaders through honest elections rather than other methods.

“Three-quarters (75%) believe people can use their power as voters to choose leaders who will help improve their lives. Almost two-thirds (63%) see voting in elections as a civic duty rather than a personal choice. This view is somewhat less common among urban residents (56%).”

In terms of voter registration, more than eight out of 10 Zimbabweans (85%) say they have registered to vote in the upcoming elections.

“Nine out of 10 of registered voters express satisfaction with their experience with biometric voter registration processes. About three in 10 registered voters (31%) say they have been asked to show the serial number of their voter registration slip.

“Seven in 10 Zimbabweans (72%) think voters must show their BVR (Biometric Voter Registration) slips in order to vote.”

The survey also reveals that the majority of people think the police (60%), Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (57%), and the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (55%) are “somewhat” or “very” well prepared for the upcoming elections.

At the same time, government radio, according to the findings of the survey, is citizens’ leading source of election-related information.

Substantial minorities also think various forms of irregularities are likely in the 2018 elections, including 44% who fear that incorrect election results may be announced.

“Large majorities want action to ensure a free and fair election. They especially want a violence-free campaign and the presence of international election observers.”