Controversial opposition MDC leader Douglas Mwonzora is the most “hated” politician in the country, a new research by SABI Strategy Group has claimed.
The survey, conducted in January using an in-depth 15-minute questionnaire for Brenthurst Foundation by the London-based SABI Strategy Group, shows that Mwonzora has the highest negative favourability rating among public figures tested.
Among those interviewed, 55% said they do not like Mwonzora. Other hated politicians are Finance minister Mthuli Ncube (47%), Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga (46%) and President Emmerson Mnangagwa (41%).
Mwonzora’s party, the MDC, has the most unfavourable ratings among the major political parties tested.
The party’s negative favourability levels stood at 55%, while Zanu PF came second at 45% and Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) was at 27%.
Following a humiliating electoral defeat in last year’s by-elections, Mwonzora went on a purging spree, expelling and silencing members that had questioned his leadership qualities and the party’s dismal performance.
The part, which was contesting under the MDC Alliance banner, failed to win a single seat in both the council and parliamentary by-elections. So bad was the performance that it got zero votes at some polling stations.
In December last year, Mwonzora held a congress which other senior members described as a sham.
- Backlash over ZEC’s huge 2023 poll fees
- Ex-Mwonzora ally defects to CCC
- Pomona saga: Harare handed shock US$750k ‘garbage’ bill
- CCC giving us sleepless nights: Mohadi
Mwonzora on Monday expelled senior party executives, including his deputy Elias Mudzuri.
Mudzuri said he was saddened that the once popular opposition party was now a pale shadow of itself under the stewardship of Mwonzora.
“We are being led by people with selfish agendas,” he said.
Political analyst Pardon Taodzera said Mwonzora’s unpopularity was self-inflicted.
“Recent elections have shown that Mwonzora is, indeed, unpopular. His unpopularity emanates from the way he deals with party critics. He has shown that he is ruthless and this has made him very unpopular in the eyes of the public,” he said.
According to the survey, CCC leader Nelson Chamisa emerged as the public figure with the highest favourability score of 59%,, while Mnangagwa trailed with 43%, narrowly ahead of CCC MP and former MDC Finance minister Tendai Biti.
More voters believed the CCC would govern more effectively, with 47% favouring the opposition party ahead of Zanu PF (33%).