Zimbabweans back opposition coalition

By Farayi Machamire

Zanu PF followers, together with nearly half of adult Zimbabweans, believe that a grand opposition coalition led by MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai has a good chance of unseating the ruling party in next year’s watershed elections.

Nelson Chamisa, Morgan Tsvangirai and Joice Mujuru
Nelson Chamisa, Morgan Tsvangirai and Joice Mujuru

According to the latest survey findings of by think tank Afrobarometer, the notion of a grand opposition coalition has support among at least 45 percent of Zimbabweans.

This comes as the talks around the planned coalition pacts are gathering momentum, with the popular Tsvangirai having recently signed memoranda of understanding with the leader of the National People’s Party (NPP), Joice Mujuru, and his former secretary-general, Welshman Ncube.

The survey stated that the prospect of a grand opposition coalition had firm support among 45 percent of Zimbabweans, “including more than 68 percent of MDC-T partisans”.

“Among citizens who do not align themselves with any political party, a group that makes up half of the adult population, 54 percent also favour the idea of a grand opposition coalition,” it said.

“Zanu PF supporters reject the idea, 41 percent to 23 percent. Support for the coalition proposal is stronger among urban residents, better-educated citizens, and men than among rural dwellers, less-educated respondents and women.

“Majorities favour the idea in just three of Zimbabwe’s 10 provinces — the traditional opposition strongholds of Bulawayo (64 percent), Harare (62 percent) and Matabeleland North (54 percent),” it added.

The pan-African research network also said the opposition had been at its weakest since its controversial defeat in the 2013 elections.

“Since 2013, the number of opposition parties has grown rapidly, there are reportedly now more than four dozen, although fewer than half a dozen are considered ‘serious’ national parties,” Afrobarometer said. Daily News