POLL surveys continue to tip President Emmerson Mnangagwa to win the presidential election with Pan African think-tank Afro Barometer’s latest research saying the Zanu-PF presidential candidate will emerge victorious in the forthcoming polls.
Afro Barometer yesterday released its election survey whose findings reveal that President Mnangagwa will win by 40 percent in a closely contested poll with MDC Alliance presidential candidate Advocate Nelson Chamisa getting 37 percent of the votes.
In terms of the country’s laws, a presidential run-off becomes necessary when none of the contesting Presidential candidates manages to garner 50 percent plus one of the votes.
In May, President Mnangagwa proclaimed July 30 as the date for harmonised elections and fixed September 8 as the date for the Presidential election run-off if it becomes necessary.
In its report, Afro Barometer stated that 20 percent of the electorate was undecided on who to vote for while three percent will vote for other candidates.
It, however, said President Mnangagwa will emerge with the most votes but won't reach the 50 percent mark.
Afro Barometer’s poll ratings come days after Leaders of African Leaders (LAN) released their survey where 49 percent of its respondents were in favour of the status quo.
This was after Trends and Insights for Africa (TIFA) had recently stated that if elections were to be held today, President Mnangagwa would garner 68,5 percent of the votes, while Mr Chamisa would get 19,5 percent, National People’s party (NPP) leader Dr Joice Mujuru 2 percent, and others 0,5 percent of the vote.
Zimbabweans have since dismissed this survey as not being a credible one, judging by the popularity of Mnangagwa's main rival Nelson Chamisa.
Afro Barometer said the July 30 election was unique in the sense that former President Mr Robert Mugabe and the late MDC-T president will not be contesting.
It observed that the democratic space was more open as opposed to previous plebiscites which were marred by violence and voter intimidation.
“At least on the surface, the 2018 election is unfolding in a somewhat more open political atmosphere than the country’s previous contests, which were often marred by violent intimidation and disputed results. The opposition has been permitted to campaign throughout the country, and access to the election proceedings has been granted to a wide spectrum of international observers,” reads the Afro Barometer survey.
It said Zimbabweans are keen on having a leader who will address the country’s economic challenges.
Afro Barometer noted that President Mnangagwa and Adv Chamisa have packaged their campaign on messages on economic reform and job creation.