Back to Index
Change and new politics in Zimbabwe
August 18, 2012
View this document
on the Freedom
PDF version (490KB)
If you do not have the free Acrobat reader
on your computer, download it from the Adobe website by clicking
are showing the evidence of having been torn in all directions in
the transitional period. They have been scarred by the party political
wars since the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) from late 2000
onwards first posed an electoral challenge to the Zimbabwe African
National Union - Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF). Zimbabweans, as represented
in this stratified-random and nationally representative sample,
are not sure it seems on what to believe and how to relate to political
and economic circumstances. They veer between praises for economic
conditions that have improved and condemnations of the Inclusive
Government (IG) when they move to more general-level assessments.
They leap from great anticipation that the next election is the
one that will bring more definitive change to their lives to concrete
assessments that reveal more of their politically tormented sides.
They proclaim that free and fair elections are in the offing, yet
express similar levels of fear of electoral violence and intimidation
than they had in the past. The 2012 survey results illuminate these
complex, nuanced and evolving positions that Zimbabweans hold today.
The contemporary mood amongst Zimbabweans
- A substantial
and persisting mood of optimism, hope and idealism characterises
many of the responses in the FH 2012 survey. Zimbabweans have
not given up on hoping that the given moment of turnaround to
a democratic and human rights. driven system will be unleashed
come the next constitution, the next referendum or the next election.
However, many of the orientations emerging from the survey reveal
cynicism and doubt about leadership deals, government and public
institutions, and specifically about IG.
link their hope for further change and a better future to four
unfolding phenomena and processes in Zimbabwe: the practice of
Inclusive Government in which the main political parties are in
a power-sharing arrangements, the process of constitution.making,
the expected referendum to test popular support for the draft
constitution, and the elections that are generally agreed to be
due not later than June 2013.
support in flux - Trends corroborated through trust measures
- In terms
of the declared survey-based support, it appears the MDC.T has
been suffering a decline in support, falling from 38% to 20% in
the parliamentary vote from 2010 to 2012, in a period of approximately
18 months between the 2010 and 2012FH surveys.
- In contrast,
the survey data point to ZANU.PF having experienced a growth in
popular support, moving from 17% to 31% in the same period.
- It is essential
to bear in mind that a total of 47% of the respondents did not
declare their voting intention in this 2012 survey. The percentage
includes those who declared their vote to be their secret. Analyses
in the rest of the report show that this undeclared category does
not veil a systematic party orientation. Rather, should these
persons vote in a next election, their support is likely to be
diffused across party categories.
survey results are not direct indicators of election outcomes
¡V they are snap shots in conditions of fluidity, conditions
that have been confirmed in Zimbabwe, in the support that is declared
for all of the political parties, both major and minor.
- The basic
thrust of declared party support is borne out through the assessment
of trust in the political parties. 52% of the respondents say
that they trust ZANU.PF or trust it a lot; the corresponding percentage
for the MDC.T only comes to 39%. The response level is higher
than on party support, but the measure confirms the gap between
- It needs
to be taken into account that the current survey of 1,198 people
carries a margin of error of 2.8% at a 95% level of confidence.
These aspects might moderate the exact level of expressed party
support, but are insufficient to subvert the trends.
Please credit www.kubatana.net if you make use of material from this website.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.