GONDA: And what are the main concerns of the people on the ground, especially the people that participated in the survey?
REELER: Well we asked them a very interesting question. We asked them what is the way forward? And we gave them a choice of – what are the three most important things for you to solve the problems with Zimbabwe? And that came back in rank order, three things. They said Number One – an end to violence, Number Two – free and fair elections and Number Three – democracy and those are very important things coming from ordinary citizens because that’s what has continuously emerged from the Afro-barometer surveys over the last five or six years – is they show that Zimbabweans have a very acute understanding of what democracy is, its manifestations and that they also have a very acute understanding that they don’t have a democracy.
So what you can see is Zimbabweans want a solution, they want a solution in a particular way, they want elections that are non-violent that restore democracy essentially. I think they also said there has been some improvement due to the inclusive government and the Global Political Agreement and they saw some improvements in health and a few improvements in education but they also saw many areas in which there was no improvement whatsoever. What we are hearing from discussions within communities are people who are deeply concerned about whether this Global Political Agreement and the inclusive government is working and people who are very concerned that there is a resolution to this crisis. And I think what people are saying is they understand quite clearly that the solution to a political crisis will be an election. That’s the Zimbabwean perspective. In other countries what used to happen was that you used to have military coups or rebellions as we’ve had to do to get rid of white colonial power here but Zimbabweans are saying they put their faith in an electoral process. That’s what they hope will resolve the crisis and clearly what that means is, is that people’s votes translate into the reality they expect and the majority of people, when they vote, expect a particular outcome, that they will in fact elect the party of their choice.