By Tererai Karimakwenda
A respected American research group has published the results of a poll which ranked approval ratings of Presidents in sub-Saharan Africa.
The Gallup poll, based on face-to-face interviews with 1,000 adults older than 15 years of age, was conducted in 26 countries and ranked Mugabe at number 21 out of 26 presidents.
The ageing ZANU PF leader received an approval rating of 44%, surprisingly beating South Africa’s president Jacob Zuma, who came in at number 25 with a 41% approval rating.
The Gallup poll results were published just as African leaders were preparing to attend the US-Africa Leaders’ Summit in Washington, where Mugabe was excluded and one that he had hoped other African leaders would boycott in solidarity.
The poll observed that Presidents in countries that are experiencing economic hardships and other challenges received a lower ranking, which was not surprising in Mugabe’s case.
The ZANU PF government promised to create two million jobs during campaigning ahead of elections last year. But a year since declaring a disputed victory over the opposition MDC-T, unemployment has increased dramatically as hundreds of companies shut down.
The broke government is struggling to pay civil servants, with many now demanding their wages after going for months without pay.
Number one on the Gallup poll was Mali’s President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, who received an 86% approval rating. Botswana’s President Ian Khama was ranked second in the region with 81% and Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta came in at third with 78%. SW Radio Africa