Takunda Maodza News Editor
TWO more poll surveys have given Zanu-PF Presidential candidate, President Mnangagwa, a clear lead against the MDC Alliance and its presidential candidate Mr Nelson Chamisa. The surveys, released yesterday, coincided with the unveiling of an MDC Alliance election manifesto by Mr Chamisa.
A survey by a Kenyan research network, Trends and Insights for Africa (TIFA), shows that if elections were held today, President Mnangagwa would garner 68,5 percent of the vote against Mr Chamisa’s 19,5 percent.
According to the survey, National People’s Party leader Dr Joice Mujuru would manage two percent of the vote, MDC-T led by Dr Thokozani Khupe one percent, others (0,5 percent) while 8,5 percent are undecided.
On political party support, the TIFA survey indicates that 74 percent are Zanu-PF, while MDC Alliance has 24 percent.
It also showed that 80 percent of Zanu-PF supporters believe the country is heading in the right direction under the new administration led by President Mnangagwa, while 54 percent of MDC Alliance supporters say it’s in the wrong path.
Of those interviewed, 63 percent have total trust in the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), 18 percent have little trust, while 10 percent have no trust at all.
Last month, another Kenyan research network, the Pan African Forum Limited, released a survey whose results forecast President Mnangagwa would win with 70 percent of the vote against Mr Chamisa’s 24 percent.
The nationwide opinion poll had a sample of 3 110 people, with a margin of error of +/-2percent.
“Emmerson Mnangagwa is the most preferred candidate to be the President of Zimbabwe,” said the Forum in its survey titled “Zimbabwe Presidential Opinion Poll.”
The results were widely condemned by MDC Alliance associates.
In a hypothetical presidential election held at the time of its survey (April to May 2018) but released yesterday, the Pan African research network, Afrobarometer, gave Zanu-PF 42 percent of the vote against MDC-T (combined Chamisa party and Alliance)’s 31 percent.
It indicated that most Zimbabweans were ready for the July 30 polls.
“Most Zimbabweans are registered and ready to vote in July, but while the ruling Zanu-PF appears to have a lead among declared voters, the outcome is far from certain, according to a new survey by Afrobarometer partner, Mass Public Opinion Institute (MPOI).
“As of late April/early May, more than eight in 10 Zimbabweans said they were registered and likely to vote in the July elections. Among voters willing to declare their preferences in the presidential race, the Zanu-PF held a 42 percent to 31 percent lead over the MDC-T, but the intentions of fully one-fourth of voters remained unknown,” Afrobarometer said.
It said there could be changes to its forecast.
“Moreover, the state of the presidential race could change during the three months between the survey dates (28 April-13 May 2018) and election day, scheduled for 30 July.”
Afrobarometer indicated that more than eight out of 10 Zimbabweans (85 percent) said they had registered to vote in the upcoming elections.
It revealed that three in 10 registered voters (31percent) said they had been asked by an unauthorized person to show the serial number of their voter registration slip while over three-fourths (77percent) of Zimbabwean adults said they would “definitely” vote in the 2018 elections.
In addition, 9 percent said they would “probably” vote, and 5 percent said they may or may not vote.
Afrobarometer said its survey showed that voting intentions of 25 percent of voters were unknown, limiting inferences that can be drawn about the actual state of the presidential race.
“When citizens were asked which party’s candidate they expect to win the presidential election, 44 percent said ZANU-PF, 28 percent MDC-T Chamisa, and 2 percent MDC Alliance. About one in four said they didn’t know, refused to answer, or said the election was too close to call.”
The survey results showed, once again, that the July 30 elections would be a two-horse race pitting President Mnangagwa and Mr Chamisa, suggesting alliances were of no significance in determining the ultimate winner.
Afrobarometer is a pan-African, non-partisan research network that conducts public attitude surveys on democracy, governance, economic conditions, and related issues in African countries.
Six rounds of surveys were conducted in up to 37 countries between 1999 and 2015, and a regular Round 7 survey was conducted in Zimbabwe in January-February 2017.
It conducts face-to-face interviews in the language of the respondent’s choice with nationally representative samples.
For its latest survey, Afrobarometer national partner Mass Public Opinion Institute, interviewed 2,399 adult citizens between 28 April and 13 May 2018.
A sample of this size yields country-level results with a margin of error of +/-2% at a 95% confidence level.