A random survey by The Mirror has shown that Chamisa’s popularity has grown tremendously in the last few weeks to the extent that for every five respondents, an average of four are in favour of Chamisa as the next president of Zimbabwe.
It looks like Zimbabweans are ready to use their new found freedom to unseat the man who brought it. One respondent out of five said they would vote Emmerson Mnangagwa. Chamisa’s support appears to hold true both in urban and rural areas and from the youth to the elderly.
The Mirror tasked its eight bureau correspondents deployed in Buhera, Chivhu, Gweru, Shurugwi, Zvishavane, Gwanda, Beitbridge and Chiredzi and several stringers based in Masvingo to do random surveys at functions, parties, funerals and meetings and casually ask people who they were going to vote for.
Respected political analyst, Eldred Masunungure acknowledged Chamisa’s rising popularity but said it was unlikely that he will win against Mnangagwa. He said that compared to Mnangagwa, Chamisa does not have as much resources.
He said Mnangagwa can fall back on the largesse of the State as seen at the Murambinda rally he held last week. He also said Zanu PF has the experience both in the party and in the military and this all give an edge for Mnangagwa to win the elections.
Masunungure also poked holes into The Mirror survey and said it needed to be more scientific and more rigorous for it to be authoritative. He said more questions needed to be asked including whether participants in the survey were registered and demographics of the survey. He said it is useless to involve people who are not registered in such a survey.
“As far as I can judge, the MDC T is on an upward trajectory but not to the point that it will upset ZANU PF. There is an invigoration in MDC T but I don’t think your research is accurate. People are expressing intentions and there are many factors involved to determine the possible outcome of an election,” said Masunungure.
Another analyst who declined to be named said the situation indicated by the survey is true but this is because ZANU PF has not yet started campaigning. He said Chamisa has gone all over the country and ED and his ZANU PF machinery are yet to start.
Most of the respondents said they were tired of ZANU PF and simply wanted a change and they did not care who brought it. Some bluntly said that Zimbabwe is a country of looters and wanted to give new people a chance to loot.
Sentiments were strong among the respondents that Mnangagwa has not done much against corruption despite his promises when he got into power. There are fears that he will continue to protect ruling party members who are corrupt as long as they support him. They cited the relaxation of Ignatius Chombo’s bail conditions, the safe passage of Saviour Kasukuwere back into the country and said the corruption campaign was just a smokescreen.
However, on the other end respondents who are mostly technocrats and business people preferred a Mnangagwa win arguing that he is the man who can bring stability to the country and has a grasp of issues and problems that Zimbabwe is facing. They also said that Mnangagwa has the confidence of investors both at home and abroad.
They condemned Chamisa as childish and playing student politics.