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Zimbabweans abroad to vote"- poll
The Standard (Zimbabwe)
GWERU - THE
majority of Zimbabweans including those in Zanu PF strongholds,
want Zimbabweans living outside the country to be allowed to cast
their votes in the forthcoming 2005 Parliamentary Elections, according
to results of the Mass
Public Opinion Institute (MPOI) survey.
Also, the majority of people interviewed were against the appointment
of the chairperson of the proposed Independent Electoral Commission
by President Robert Mugabe.
The survey on
the Electoral Playing Field in Zimbabwe, which was conducted in
August this year and released last week, says 64 percent of Zimbabweans
want their brothers and sisters abroad to be allowed to cast their
votes, with 54 percent against the appointment of the commission
chair by President Mugabe.
an up-date meeting with the media on Thursday Tulani Sithole said
this was hardly surprising considering that for many Zimbabweans
their means of survival were relatives staying abroad.
takes on greater significance in the light of attempts by government
to tap the foreign exchange from Zimbabweans abroad. Even provinces
that are considered predominantly pro-Zanu PF subscribe to this
view," Sithole said.
On the appointment
of the chairperson of the Independent Electoral Commission by President
Mugabe, Sithole said only two provinces, Mashonaland West and East
were in favour of the proposal.
"It is also
significant to note that even in the two provinces, opinion was
almost split. Quite clearly, this is an issue that government would
have done well to consult on," says the MPOI report.
findings by the survey were that a significant 37 percent of potential
voters are not registered as voters and that there was a worrying
level of lack of the proposed electoral reforms with only 17 percent
of the people interviewed aware of these reforms.
The report said
this was a disturbing figure considering that the registration exercise
has been on going for some time.
"It is even
more disturbing considering the proximity of the 2005 Parliamentary
Election. If the trend remains the same, what it means is that over
a third of eligible voters will not cast their votes in the forthcoming
elections," says the report.
The report also
reveals another ominous sign for the electoral process in the country.
Six months prior to the general election, 50 percent of eligible
voters have not received any voter education.
"One issue that
immediately springs to mind is the capacity of the electoral commission
to undertake voter education. These statistics take on greater significance
in the face of proposals to make the electoral commission, the only
body allowed to carry out voter education in the country," reads
The report also
revealed that 64 percent of people interviewed were not in favour
of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) boycotting
the elections if their reform demands were not met and 54 percent
of them were MDC supporters.
Sithole, the MPOI survey was conducted in two districts of each
of the 10 provinces in the country.
He said his
organisation initially wanted to sample 1 200 respondents but only
ended up sampling 931 due to disturbances by so-called war veterans
and ruling Zanu PF youths.
He said a total
of 46 percent of those interviewed were male while 54 percent were
female and questions were asked in the local languages spoken in
the areas sampled.
MPOI is an independent,
non-partisan research organisation that measures the social, economic
and political atmosphere in the country.
is interested in what Zimbabweans think about conditions in their
country and the pressing policy issues of the day.
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