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‘Democracy still elusive in Zim’

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ZIMBABWE still lags behind most African countries in upholding democratic principles, while neighbouring Botswana was seen as a shining beacon of democracy, the Mass Public Opinion Institute (MPOI) survey has shown.
By the Staff Reporter

At 31%, Zimbabwe was ranked the worst compared to Botswana (79%), Ghana (78%), Mauritius (77%), Tanzania (74%), Benin (71%), Liberia (70%), Cape Verde (63%), South Africa (63%), Malawi (55%), Uganda (53%) and Kenya (42%).

Presenting results of the AfroBarometer Round 5 survey at a Bulawayo hotel on Wednesday, MPOI principal researcher Stephen Ndoma said: “Since Round 1 in 1999, the Afro-Barometer has consistently asked Zimbabwean to assess the state of democracy in the country and consistently citizens have been unimpressed with the country’s democratic credentials.

“In Round 5, of the 12 countries that have completed surveys, Zimbabwe is anchored at the bottom of the ladder of democracy with only 31% saying the country is a democracy.

“In all the 10 provinces, the country is viewed as undemocratic with Bulawayo (89%) and Midlands (76%) declaring that Zimbabwe is ‘not a democracy’ or ‘a democracy with major problems’.”

Ndoma added: “Satisfaction with democracy by party affiliation showed that 76% of MDC-T supporters said they were not satisfied with the democracy in the country. In Zanu PF, 62% said they were satisfied, while 32% said they were not satisfied.

“A total of 100% in MDC-Mutambara said they were not satisfied, (Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn) 77% were not satisfied, Zapu 40% were not satisfied, another 40% of Zapu supporters said Zimbabwe is not a democracy at all, while 20% of Zapu supporters were satisfied. A total of 77% of MDC-Ncube were not satisfied with democracy in the country.”

MPOI said displeasure with the democratic status of Zimbabwe ran across gender and all age groups.

“It is clear from the above that the practice of democracy in the country is very low, which does not portend well for Zimbabwe. This gap needs to be narrowed for the future political and social stability of the country.”

In the survey, MPOI asked respondents which party they will vote for if there were elections tomorrow, and 32,5% said they would vote for Zanu PF, 30,2% were for MDC-T, 0,6% for MDC, 0,2% for Mutambara’s MDC and 0,2% for Zapu.

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