Zimbabweans confident of GNU –– Survey

Wongai Zhangazha

THE majority of Zimbabweans have confidence in the power-sharing agreement between three main political parties, but remain unhappy over the failure by the principals to deliver on critical issues agreed to in the Global Political Agreement (GPA), a survey commissioned by  Afrobarometer has said.

Afrobarometer is an African-led series of national public attitude surveys on democracy and governance in Africa.

The results of the survey conducted by the Mass Public Opinion Institution (MPOI) show that as of October 2010, 72% of Zimbabweans had confidence in the inclusive government as a mode of governance.

“As of October 2010, Zimbabweans continued to place confidence in power-sharing as a mode of governance.

“Some 72% agreed that “creating an inclusive government was the best way to resolve the recent post-election crisis,” reads the survey.

“This level of popular endorsement represents an increase over time because only 66% felt the same way in May 2009.

By contrast, just 21% in the latest survey regard power-sharing as ineffective, believing that “leaders should have found another way to resolve the crisis.”

On the other hand, 42% of Zimbabweans regarded power-sharing as a compromise that falls short of their preferred method of choosing a government.

“More than four out of 10 (42%) see it as a second-best solution, to be used only when elections fail, a figure that has held steady over the previous year.  The rest of the electorate is divided, with one quarter (25%) seeing power-sharing as a good alternative to competitive elections, which rarely work well and another quarter (26%) as a bad alternative that should never replace competitive elections,” reads the survey.

The survey said over the previous year the proportion of citizens who thought that the parties to the inclusive government were cooperating politically or working well together dropped from 47% to 38%.

“Zimbabweans clearly recognise that a power imbalance among leaders impedes collective action. Two thirds of all adults interviewed in October 2010 (68%) consider that political power in the inclusive government resides “mainly” or “only” with the president, a figure that rose by 10% points over a year earlier. Just 14% think power is shared equally. And, remarkably, a mere 6% think that power is held mainly or only by the prime minister,” reads the study.

The survey noted a significant increase in the participation of people in the constitution-making process from 40% in September 2009 to 75% in October last year.

“The change was due not only to Copac’s effort to involve citizens in the constitution-making process, but probably also to a heavy-handed campaign against meaningful change in the legal framework conducted by Zanu PF cadres, mainly in rural areas,” says the survey adding that this confirms that the outreach process became politicised.

The survey results were released last month and conducted in all 10 provinces of the country in October last year.