Kubatana.net ~ an online community of Zimbabwean activists

Inclusive government restores hope

TOP del.icio.us

The Mass Public Opinion Institute conducted round 4 of the Afrobarometer survey in Zimbabwe in May 2009. The purpose of the survey is to compare public opinion about various economic civic and social issues across African countries.

The survey was supposed to have been undertaken in 2008, but the political instability prevalent in the country at the time made this impossible. Further, the sample size is based on 2002 Census figures, which are projected to 2008 figures with consideration being given to issues such as mass migration and displacement.

Despite many criticisms at its formation the majority of respondents expressed a belief that the Inclusive Government was the best way forward. Added to that 57% of respondents said that they would vote for MDC–T in the next election, as compared to 10% for ZANU PF. The popularity of the MDC is also mirrored in the high approval rating for Morgan Tsvangirai and his work in the Inclusive Government. Interestingly, Mr. Tsvangirai’s job performance is viewed positively by members of both parties.

It may be inferred that hope was restored to the public because 71% of respondents expressed satisfaction with the way government was managing the economy. Despite this, day to day issues were also seen in the survey, with the majority of respondents ranking management of the economy as the most important problem facing the country. Second to this were the issues of unemployment and education. Interestingly, a majority of respondents expressed greater satisfaction with the current state of the economy as compared with other years including 2004, 2005 and most notably 1999.

Issues of contention which arose during the survey presentation included the survey sample being based on 2002 census data; the fact that more respondents expressed greater satisfaction with the economy in 2009 as compared to 1999 and what the terms ‘economic policies’ and ‘economic management’ meant to the respondents.

What is most evident from the survey is that the formation of the inclusive government has restored hope in people. While many acknowledge the challenges in their own lives, they are optimistic that the country’s fortunes are on their way up.

Only time will tell if this hope is well founded.

Comments are closed.