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Bulawayo residents question Afrobarometer survey

Bulawayo residents have queried the Afrobarometer recent survey findings on Zimbabwe which among other things show that while Zimbabweans feel the country is headed in the wrong direction, they still trust President Emmerson Mnangagwa and the ruling ZANU-PF party.

Speaking immediately after the dissemination of the survey findings by the Mass Public Opinion Institute (MPOI) in Bulawayo Tuesday, participants expressed reservations about some of the survey findings.

“When you listen to the report a large majority of Zimbabweans think that the country is going in the wrong direction, a large majority of Zimbabweans think that our economy is very,” said local government expert, Dr Rodrick Fayayo.

“And yet when you then look at the results, 49 percent, a huge 49 percent still trust the ruling party. So you ask yourself and say who do they think is responsible for this mercy. Where are they directing their frustration?”

He said figures on Zimbabweans who trust the President were also questionable.

“We have been told that the President is from Midlands, the President is busy promoting Midlands but when you look at the numbers, about 50 percent of the people in the Midlands trust the President,” he said.

“Yet 56 percent of people in Harare trust the President and 62 percent of people in Mashonaland East, where we are told they do not want him, trust the President. Again if you look at 2021 and 2022 figures the level of trust in the President has gone up from 48 percent to 51 percent. What has changed, what has he done?”

Dr Wayne Malinga of Lupane State University questioned the sample size of 1,200 people, bundling the three Matabeleland provinces as one, among other factors.

“I felt like from the word go, I did not get a sense of direction of what we were going to discuss,” said Dr Malinga.

“You cannot have a country survey from 28 March to 10 April; that is quite impossible for a country of this magnitude and that’s why some of the results are even queried. We have done surveys for two months and even three months. At the same time you cannot generalise the results of the entire nation on 1, 200 people.”

He said it was wrong to treat three Matabeleland provinces as one province.

“In the same context you cannot have seven provinces and one in three provinces as results,” he said.

“That’s why we are querying these results; we cannot have the people liking the President, we cannot have the MPs being corrupt. At the same time you cannot generalise that NGOs are least corrupt. Remember as Zimbabweans we are living in a system and that system that has been created by the ruling party has cascaded down even to civic society and NGOs.”

Mpopoma-Pelandaba legislator, Charles Moyo also said the bundling of Matabeleland provinces into one distorted results on party affiliations.

“In your concluding slide you said of Bulawayo in terms of party affiliation 35 percent of the people support CCC and ZANU-PF 42 percent,” said Moyo.

“In Bulawayo? In Bulawayo?” he further queried.

Effie Ncube, q political analyst said there was a need to explain the results.

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