Zimbabweans want Devolution, Presidential term limits and all forms of citizenship in the new constitution, says Afrobarometer survey

The Mass Public Opinion Institute (MPOI) has released the results of the Zimbabwe Afrobarometer Round 5 Survey. The results were announced at a dissemination meeting held at the Holiday Inn in Harare on 20 September 2012. The Round 5 opinion survey focused on three issues, that is, Presidential term limits, Devolution and Dual citizenship. The survey sought to get people's opinion on whether there should be devolution, presidential term limits and dual citizenship in the draft constitution.

Key findings were that 74% of Zimbabweans want term limits for the President. The view is strongly held by the urbanites, 83%, and the rural folk where 69% support presidential term limits. More respondents in rural areas (27%) than in urban areas (15%) thought there should be no limits to the president's tenure of office. Although 93% of MDC-T supporters favor Presidential term limits, the opinion amongst ZANU-PF supporters is almost equally split; 48% support the idea while half are opposed. Bulawayo, Harare, and Matebeleland North Provinces strongly support presidential term limits while Mashonaland Central and Manicaland had relatively lower support for term limits.

On the issue of citizenship, the majority of survey respondents are in support of other forms of citizenship except dual citizenship. 72% of the respondents rejected dual citizenship; the sentiment is equally shared between males and females, and between urbanites and the rural folk. Manicaland province had the highest number of respondents (84%) against dual citizenship while Mat South boasts of the highest number of respondents in support of dual citizenship in Zimbabwe. More ZANU PF loyalists (76%) reject dual citizenship than the MDC-T supporters (67%).

The majority of Zimbabweans (61%) are in support of devolution. A significant proportion of survey respondents (21%) could neither agree nor disagree with the concept of devolution. More urbanites (76%) support devolution that their rural folk (54%). 7 out of 10 provinces want to see a devolved state in Zimbabwe .Mashonaland Central, Manicaland and Masvingo Provinces had the least support for devolution. The strongest sentiment for devolution was expressed in Bulawayo

The Afrobarometer (AB) is an independent, non-partisan comparative series of public opinion surveys that measure public attitudes toward democracy, governance, the economy, leadership, identity, and other related issues conducted by an Africa-based network of researchers. The network has a national partner responsible for survey implementation in the respective countries where studies are conducted.   In Zimbabwe, the national partner is The Mass Public Opinion Institute (MPOI). The first round of surveys took place in 1999-2001 in 12 countries.   The Network is now conducting "Round 5 € survey in up to 35 countries during 2011-2012.

The purpose of the surveys is to measure popular perspectives on the social, political, and economic environments in each country where it is implemented and across Africa, with the goal of giving the public a voice in policy making processes through providing high-quality public opinion data to policy-makers, policy advocates and civil society organizations, academics, media, donors and investors, and ordinary Africans.

The survey methodology for the current survey involved face to face interviews in the language of the respondents' choice, with a randomly selected representative sample of adult citizens. The survey instruments are standardized across Africa for comparability. The Round 5 results are a product of the field work carried out by MPOI between 16 and 30 July 2012, involving 2 400 adult Zimbabwean respondents above 18 years of age.


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