Zimbabweans too afraid of elections — research

December 9, 2011 at 11:02 am Leave a comment

A research conducted by a local pressure group, Mass Public Opinion Institute (MPOI), in the country’s 10 provinces has revealed that Zimbabweans are still scared of elections due to possible political violence.
MPOI F’s focus Group Discussion Findings revealed that most Zimbabweans were afraid to even hear talk of elections.“The thought of elections in Zimbabwe triggered intense fear and anxiety among most participants who said fear was pervasive in their communities,” the organisation said in a statement this week.

MPOI said although some people felt elections should come soon to enable them to decide their destiny, the majority were for the view that the environment was not yet conducive.

“I become very nervous when elections are mentioned. I always think of political violence, killings and maiming of people. I also think of how people were left homeless after their homes were burnt down,” said a female participant from Mashonaland.

“Violence escalates during or towards election time. For that reason, everyone gets scared,” said one man from Bulawayo.

Political analyst Hopewell Gumbo said: “The reason why people in rural areas fear elections is because they were more affected by the 2008 election violence than their urban counterparts,” he said.

MPOI principal researcher Stephen Ndoma said: “People who said no to elections mostly said they were scared of violence hence they did not want the elections at this time.”

President Mugabe insists elections will be held by next year.

He has urged the Constitution Select Committee (Copac) to fast-track the constitution-making process which will lead to elections.

But Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai of MDC-T has demanded that effective reforms be put in place before any elections are held.


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