Yesterday, the Mass Public Opinion Institute (MPOI) released the findings of their latest survey, from research conducted in July 2015. According to the research, 67% of adult Zimbabweans feel that the country is going in the wrong direction, and 66% believe the country’s current economic condition is fairly/very bad. 58% think current economic conditions in Zimbabwe are worse or much worse than they were 12 months ago, and 51% expect them to be worse or much worse in 12 months time. 57% describe their current living conditions as fairly/very bad. But, 62% of Zimbabweans trust the President and 54% trust Zanu PF. So, do we trust the President and Zanu PF to take us in the wrong direction?
Or maybe Zimbabweans see the country’s economic condition as separate from its politics. 52% of respondents said they participate in informal sector activities to a moderate or large extent, and 81% agree with the statement “the informal sector is sustaining the country’s economy and therefore should be maintained.” Meanwhile, 66% do not feel free to participate in a demonstration or protest march. So perhaps the lesson is keep your head down, survive however you can (even through corrupt means, as the survey also discusses) and don’t get involved inpolitics.
Or maybe our oppression and self-censorship is so internalized we don’t even see it any more. According to the survey, 49% of adult Zimbabweans believe they are “not very / not at all free” to say what they want, 90% say they are “not very / not at all free” to criticize the President, but almost two thirds feel free to choose whom to vote for without feeling pressured.
Download the slides of the survey findings here