Zvamaida Murwira, Harare Bureau
CITIZENS trust the Zimbabwe Defence Forces more than other State institutions and have more confidence in President Mnangagwa than his predecessor, Mr Robert Mugabe, who resigned last November, a survey by Afrobarometer has revealed.
According to the April/May survey, trust in the military stands at 55 percent, putting paid to claims that the military intervention in November last year was unpopular.
“Perceptions of military intervention: Most Zimbabweans see the military intervention that led to the resignation of President Mugabe as either ‘the right thing to do’ or ‘wrong but necessary.’ But most also want the military to stay out of politics,” said the survey from the Afrobarometer.
Some elements, particularly in the opposition, are condemning the ZDF for the November intervention and there are indications the MDC Alliance is actually in talks with Mr Mugabe and his wife Grace with intentions to form a coalition ahead of the July 30 harmonised elections.
Religious leaders are the most trusted at 67 percent followed by the military while courts of law came third with an approval rate of 51 percent.
The police and traditional leaders come fourth at 50 percent.
The trust for the ruling Zanu-PF and President Mnangagwa was pegged at 48 percent and 47 percent, respectively.
MDC-T leader Mr Nelson Chamisa is at 40 percent, the survey shows.
Trust for Mr Mugabe stands at 35 percent with his political outfit the National People’s Party at four percent.
According to the survey, at least 57 percent of respondents felt that President Mnangagwa’s rule would be different from his predecessor, Mugabe.
Majorities (60 percent) think the police, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (57 percent), and the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (55 percent) are “somewhat” or “very” well prepared for the upcoming elections.
Afrobarometer is a Pan African, non-partisan survey research project that measure citizen attitudes on democracy and governance,the economy, civil society, and other topics.
It started in 12 African countries in 1999 and expanded to 36 countries.
Its objective is to give the public a voice in policy making by providing high quality public opinion data to policymakers, policy advocates, civil society organisations, academics, news media, donors and investors, and ordinary Africans.
Two more poll surveys recently gave President Mnangagwa, a clear lead against the MDC Alliance and its presidential candidate, Mr Chamisa.
A survey by a Kenyan research network, Trends and Insights for Africa (TIFA), shows that if elections were held today, President Mnangagwa would garner 68,5 percent of the vote against Mr Chamisa’s 19,5 percent.
According to the survey, National People’s Party leader Dr Joice Mujuru would manage two percent of the vote, MDC-T led by Dr Thokozani Khupe one percent, others (0,5 percent) while 8,5 percent are undecided.
Last month, another Kenyan research network, the Pan African Forum Limited, released a survey whose results forecast President Mnangagwa would win with 70 percent of the vote against Mr Chamisa’s 24 percent.