News / Africa

    Zimbabwe Surveys Show President Mugabe's Party Gaining Ground

    Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe (R) and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai arrive at a rally marking Zimbabwe's 31st independence anniversary celebrations in Harare, Zimbabwe, April 18, 2011. Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe (R) and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai arrive at a rally marking Zimbabwe's 31st independence anniversary celebrations in Harare, Zimbabwe, April 18, 2011.
    x
    Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe (R) and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai arrive at a rally marking Zimbabwe's 31st independence anniversary celebrations in Harare, Zimbabwe, April 18, 2011.
    Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe (R) and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai arrive at a rally marking Zimbabwe's 31st independence anniversary celebrations in Harare, Zimbabwe, April 18, 2011.
    HARARE, Zimbabwe — In Zimbabwe, two new surveys show the popularity of President Robert Mugabe’s party is surging while that of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and his Movement for Democratic Change [MDC] is going down. Analysts say supporters of Tsvangirai have not been happy with his efforts in a fragile power-sharing government he formed three years ago with Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party.

    Two surveys released by Freedom House and Afrobarometer on Friday said Mugabe’s ZANU-PF would win polls ahead of Tsvangirai’s MDC. The decline of the MDC party, which won the violence-marred 2008 elections, does not surprise Pedzisai Ruhanya, a media and democracy doctorate student at University of Westminster in London.
     
    “When the MDC got into government their message was a message of change," said Ruhanya. "Change against what? Against bad leadership… against poor service… against corruption. But now there is corruption, there is bad leadership that we see in those that are in government on the side of the MDC. People are beginning to think, 'Is this the qualitative change we were looking at?' And they withdraw.”

    The survey released by the Afrobarometer survey research project found that an election in Zimbabwe today would result in another coalition government, since there would be no outright winner.  

    In a telephone interview Rugare Gumbo, the spokesperson for ZANU-PF, said his party was empowering people, hence its swelling popularity.

    “The resources of the country, which we are giving to our people… positively impact on ZANU-PF to [with] support,” said Gumbo.

    The comment by Gumbo is a reference to the policies of "indigenizing" foreign-owned companies and seizing white-owned farmland that Mugabe’s party has supported.  

    The Afrobarometer survey - entitled “Voting Intentions in Zimbabwe: A Margin of Terror?” - said the violence that marred the 2008 polls remains an issue in the African country.

    Douglas Mwonzora, the spokesperson for the MDC, said his party would defy findings of both the Freedom House and the Afrobarometer surveys.

    “Yes, we have a number of disappointed people who thought that change was coming, who thought our getting into power with ZANU-PF was synonymous to running our government on our own. Those people will give us a chance to run the government on our own,” said Mwonzora.

    Mwonzora was referring to the next government that will be determined after voting next year in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe is due to have general elections sometime in 2013, once ZANU-PF and the MDC sort out differences over a new constitution. Tsvangirai and the MDC have said the elections cannot take place until the new constitution has been adopted, in order to ensure free and fair elections.

    Zimbabwe's last elections in 2008 were deeply marred by violence, most of it by ZANU-PF supporters against perceived supporters of the MDC. Regional leaders nullified a presidential run-off in which Mugabe claimed victory and then was forced into a coalition with Tsvangirai, then the opposition leader.

    Tsvangirai and MDC had won the first round of the elections, the first time in Zimbabwe’s history that the ZANU-PF lost its majority in parliament.

    You May Like

    Native Americans Ask: What About Our Water Supply?

    They say they have been facing a dangerous water contaminant for decades - uranium – but the problem has received far less attention than water contamination by lead in Flint, Michigan

    Pakistan's President Urges Nation Not to Celebrate Valentine's Day

    Mamnoon Hussain criticizes Valentine's Day, which falls on Sunday this year, as a Western import that threatens to undermine the Islamic values of Pakistan

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.