Opposition must heed survey or perish

MDC-T Supporters express excitement: Rudahaka Stadium

A recent survey jointly conducted by Mass Public Opinion Institute and Afrobarometer has shown that a majority of Zimbabweans had lost confidence in opposition political parties and shifted allegiance to Zanu PF.

However, the opposition parties have refused to accept Afrobarometer’s latest poll survey where they were forewarned of the impending doom should they fail to urgently address the negative perception the public has over them.

Yet, it is important for the parties that instead of dismissing the survey results as “nonsense” and burying their heads in the sand, the opposition politicians should embrace the contents and act on the recommendations to better their public perception.
The opposition parties in Zimbabwe have enjoyed massive support, for almost a decade, to the extent of even winning the March 2008 harmonised elections although Zanu PF leader President Robert Mugabe refused to hand over power.

But it is the trend set by the opposition parties that is worrying that each time they are warned of an impending disaster they have refused to accept the results of the poll surveys and labelled them anti-democratic.

In the run-up to the 2013 general elections opposition MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai again contemptuously dismissed the think-tank’s survey which predicted his loss to Mugabe. And when the election results were announced, he was left with egg on his face.

The vote-rigging claims his party made could not stick given the disorder in his camp which eventually led to another historic split early last year.

Now two years on and tellingly three years before another scheduled poll, the think-tank has produced another gloomy picture of the country’s alternatives to the ruling Zanu PF party. Is it not an established fact that the opposition in Zimbabwe is in shambles? The public, as it turns out, has turned its back against opposition politicians and now trusts discredited public institutions such as the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, the police and even the military despite their chequered history of human rights abuses.

It is the kind of behaviour that Zimbabweans are tired of to the extent that they have been forced to proverbially love their adversaries.

The recommendations in the survey should actually spur the opposition into revising their methodologies, tactics and strategies. Zimbabweans want change, but not just for the sake of it. No sane electorate would thrust their trust in parties that always fragment over slight provocation.

Mugabe and his 35-year-old administration, bar their legendary failings, have maintained a modicum of political stability — a factor that the electorate values most. Even if, for argument’s sake, Afrobarometer cooked up the facts and figures in the survey report, would there be any harm in the opposition taking the outcome as positive criticism and urgently coalesce to find a common position that will assist them dislodge Mugabe?

Zimbabwe’s problem is it has a conglomeration of opportunists who for years have taken advantage of the disgruntlement amongst our people to score cheap political points without proffering tangible alternatives to the ruling cabal.

If anything, opposition politicians have turned into Zanu PF prototypes, mimicking the master as it were and displaying the same dictatorial tendencies that Zimbabweans have endured over the past 35 years.

The results of the Afrobarometer survey call for a sober reflection. The opposition must go back to the drawing board and reconfigure for a final assault in 2018. But given their negative response to the survey results, it could be expecting too much from them.

Ours is a monumental failure of leadership and literally having round pegs in square holes.


  1. the deficiency of this survey lies on the fact that it doesn’t give the reason why more people now vote for Zanu pf instead of the opposition, which is widespread violence and intimidation perpetrated by zanu pf particularly on the rural electorate, and that the opposition has equally failed to come up with counter strategies that mitigate this zanu pf barbarism.

  2. The survey was so fake & silly without logic its disappointing to note that Newsday took it seriously & continues reporting about it

  3. Before drawing boards were invented, where did people go back to? The Opposition has no drawing board to go back to.

    We also conducted a Survey in Hurungwe West last week and found that 99.8% of the electorate support Zanu PF and will vote for it. True, the people have now gone to the revolutionary party.

    • The public, as it turns out, has turned its back against opposition politicians and now trusts discredited public institutions such as the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, the police and even the military despite their chequered history of human rights abuses.–is this a sick joke “trusts “

  4. this survey should be dismissed with the contempt it deserves.i have no doubt its converners are some of the people internationally besides those USA senators paid to spruceup zanu image.if its true mugabe is popular then why burn demonstrators and kidnap harmless citizens like Dzamara.after his socalled landslide win in 2013 i did not see his supporters celebrating but rather the streets of harare were swarmed with security details.
    you should also have seen the wave of excitement that swept the country when the man fell down.

  5. Tik-tak and the survey showed that people are afraid to report corruption, what does this show? Those interviewed were afraid of their lives and thought the survey is some form of zanupf to sniff out its so-called enemies. As for Hurungwe West, why with 99.8% voting for zanupf do you have to beat up Mliswa supporters who are .02% then? How many celebrated when he broke that fall at the airport, that was the best survey.

  6. The survey should be taken seriously.

    That’s why people get surprises in elections because of their ignorance.

    I may not like the ruling party but i am not convinced by the opposition ability to deliver on people’s needs.I feel indifferent.Not only me but quite a number….

    Wake up and smell the coffee!!!

    • Those who agree with the Afrobarometer’s survey also agree that unemployment in Zimbabwe at 11% is better than that of RSA at 25%? Imbeciles!!!!

  7. This survey was done before the Zanu PF congress and the ouster of Mai Mujuru by Grace Mugabe. The time of the survey must have been the time of the Biti/Mngoma/Tsvangirai fallout as well so the chips were down for opposition then but chips are down for Mugabe and Zanu PF now. We all know a lot has happen from then on. So it might have been true as of then, but certainly not as at now. The terraine has changed phenominaly since Grace Mugabe took over and Mugabe’s tacit revelations of the power broker in the name of Mai Stop it. The accelerated economic free fall can never really make that popular. Let one more survey be done now then you will see what i am talking about

  8. After the survey more than three and half million left the country for SA and you talk of nonsense survey,walk up mhani look at factors on the ground and if the results tally.

  9. The report reflects the outward truth about our perception about Mugabe, Zanu pf, Amy and what ever stupid organisation here in zimbabwe. An ordinary person in Zimbabwe if he or she is asked about Mugabe or anything to do with zanu pf they are quick to side with zanu pf. There is fear of victimization or fear to be aducted or killed if you say your own mind. I still remember soon after 2008 election upto date you cant criticize mugabe in open. You have o make sure that you are secured before you talk. If this is true, just allow Tsvangirai to campaign all over Zimbabwe and the voting systems is smooth no involvement of the security sector in manipulating the peoples vote. I bat Mugabe combined with other opposition can and will never beat MT.

  10. kkkkkkkkkkk take the survey in Hurungwe where Themba Mliswa is contesting Zanu you will find the now zanu pf and Keith Guzah are mostly like 99% not because its what people want. But if you remove the cruelity of zanu pf zanu will never be liked even by a donkey dung

    • Johanna, Johanna, if u support the opposition, whichever party opposing, it does not mean you are everyone, you are Johanna, even the unknown will receive an unknown vote, hapana contestant anoshaya a single vote kunzi zero, maybe donkeys will vote for Mliswa, what do u say?

  11. I wonder who is really burrying their had n the sand here? Could it be Newsday? Maybe we should do a survey to see who is more popular Newsday or Herald. We already dilone it but Newsday said no ways, Herald can’t be more popular. These surveys? Kkkkk….

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