PRESIDENT Mugabe enjoys support from almost two-thirds of adult Zimbabweans, while the same number has lost trust in opposition political parties, an international think-tank has concluded.
Findings by Pan-African and non-partisan researchers Afrobarometer show that the ruling Zanu-PF, the Zimbabwe National Army, the courts, police and Zimbabwe Electoral Commission enjoy trust among Zimbabweans.
According to the 2012 National Census, Zimbabwe has a population of about 13,1 million, with 7,7 million aged above 15 and categorised as adults. The findings, about a year ahead of harmonised elections which opposition parties have mulled contesting as a united front, but survey indications are that they lag far behind President Mugabe and Zanu-PF.
In fact, the survey shows that the adults who don’t trust the opposition (36 percent) are more than those who do (32 percent).
Afrobarometer concludes that the least trusted institutions are the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority and opposition political parties, while religious leaders enjoy the trust of almost three-quarters of adult Zimbabweans.
According to the findings from a sample of 1 200 adult citizens from all 10 provinces, conducted between 28 January and 10 February this year, President Mugabe has the trust of 55 percent of urban dwellers and 69 percent support from the rural population. His trust is higher among women (65 percent) than men (62 percent).
The survey was carried out by traditionally pro-opposition researchers, the Mass Public Opinion Institute, on behalf of South Africa-based Afrobarometer. The findings have a margin of error of plus or minus three percent, and have 95 percent accuracy.
“Almost two-thirds of adult Zimbabweans (64 percent) trust President Mugabe,” the findings reveal. “There is more trust for the president in rural areas (69 percent) than urban centres (55 percent). It is also important to note that the public trust the president (64 percent) more than they do the ruling party, Zanu-PF (56 percent).
“Half of adult Zimbabweans (50 percent) reported that they trust the electoral management body, that is, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission. Masvingo province has the highest proportion of adult Zimbabweans (67 percent) who claim that they trust it ‘somewhat’ or quite ‘a lot’ with Bulawayo province having the least trust (28 percent).”
Previous findings by the think tank show ever-increasing support for President Mugabe since 2010.
The report continues: “Religious leaders command ‘a lot’ of trust among Zimbabweans with almost three-fourths (72 percent) saying that they trust them while only a few adult Zimbabweans (32 percent) place faith in the opposition political parties.
Thirty-six percent of adult Zimbabweans say they don’t have trust in the opposition political parties.”