Don't ignore Baba Jukwa: Analysts

HARARE – IT is “dangerous” and foolhardy to dismiss Baba Jukwa’s online survey which showed Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai leading the presidential race, political analysts say.

The online opinion poll show Tsvangirai leads the pack with 85 percent of votes, while Mugabe can expect to be backed by 10 percent of Zimbabweans.

Welshman Ncube, leader of the smaller MDC, can expect to garner three percent of voters, while Zapu leader Dumiso Dabengwa and Kisinoti Mukwazhi were both tied on one percent.

While there was need for caution in the treatment of the data or survey since it was non-scientific, analysts told the Daily News that it would be equally foolish to ignore the outcome of the poll, as it conveyed a bold message of a people hungry for change.

Reverend Levee Kadenge, founding member of Christian Alliance, said: “It would be foolish to rubbish the survey on the basis that it was not scientific enough because we cannot deny the influence social media has.

“Even as Pastors, we are now on Facebook so we can keep track of what our parishioners are seeing so that we can preach messages that are timely and relevant.

“It is the same with politicians, they should also take heed because if they ignore this poll, it will be the same as ignoring the people,” Kadenge, who is also a senior lecturer at United Theological College, said.

Joy Mabege, a pro-democracy activist, said what was important was the spirit in which the poll was conducted.

“On a balance of probability, if we remove a margin of error of 30 percent, it still means the leading candidate (Tsvangirai) will still lead,” Mabenge said.

“Even if you go beyond the margin of error, it’s all about the spirit of those people who participated. The spirit is that people want something that is different from Zanu PF and they think it is embodied in the MDC.

“Social media influences politics; it played a critical role in North Africa uprisings.”

Zanu PF on one hand say they have no time for Baba Jukwa even though some of the party’s heavy weights like Youth and Empowerment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere claim the faceless character, with over ?200 000 followers, was destabilising his family life

Charity Manyeruke, a University of Zimbabwe political scientist urged politicians not to underplay the importance of social media.

“If you want to take results from the Facebook poll, you have to make it scientific; you need to verify using other factors on the ground,” she said. “This poll means nothing; it’s about one person using their public space. It’s like going into someone’s bedroom and seeing what is happening there and thinking that it is happening everywhere.”

Dewa Mavhinga, a senior researcher with Human Rights Watch, said in the context of a country with a 70 percent rural population, people should not exaggerate the relevance of social media.

“Most Zimbabwean Facebook users are in the diaspora with limited political influence back at home,” Mavhinga said. “But as a source of information, social media is increasingly becoming important in Zimbabwe politics, but the decisive factor remains on the ground mobilisation and connections.

“It’s a feel good poll but probably all those who took part are not registered voters, it’s a campaign tool, not a scientifically credible poll, unfortunately.

“But that is not to say its result are not relevant, only that there should be caution in relying on Facebook polls.”

He also added that while the survey was an indicator of the general desire of change by Zimbabweans, it was not entirely a good indicator.

Comments (12)

Its foolhardy and idiocy to rely on a poll survey conducted by MDC-T under the disguise of a desperate rumour mongering social face book page. The poll is no different to one who goes into a toilet and defecates on the floor, only to come out and say he only peed and the toilet is clean, and yet the smell and shit is there for all to see.-that is exactly what baba jukwa/durex is. by the way better news - why is there no news about the con-court ruling, you were busy reading baba durex's hogwash. then hear it from me, elections are spot on 31 jul 2013.

reason - 5 July 2013

Yes the elections will be on 31 July 2013,you however forgot to mention that ZANU PF will lose

TS - 5 July 2013

Majaira kurigger maelections vanhu vezanu. This time you going for good. Baba Jukwa is right.

james - 5 July 2013

Ndakavhotawo paFacebook,ndakavhotera MRT(Tsvangson),the only problem is that social media is for the enlightened urbanites,so i think the results will be very similar to those you will find in urban areas.I dont know if the rural areas are still Zanu PF strongholds,so someone has to do surveys there

Fox - 5 July 2013

Zanu pf for life. Gushungo tinemi. Icho!!!!

bvodjo - 5 July 2013

ZANU PF has been rigging elections over the years.I remember in 2008 being asked to take down the serial number for my ballot paper because at counting they (ZANU PF)were going to verify whom I would have voted for.It happened here in Marondera East Constituency.Because of that Iam going to hit back by voting against those who robbed me of my vote. Before the 2008 vote we were even told that there were enough bullets to shoots us all if we voted for Morgan Tsvangirai.I am so bitter that even if a dog were to contest against ZANU PF I will vote for the dog. I felt violated then. To ZEC I say the process during the voting exercise in which the voter shows the presiding officer the stamped ballot paper is very intimidatory. It should be done away with.

Jaku - 5 July 2013

pamberi-mberi naMorgan down with ZANU PF

asijiki - 5 July 2013

lets not forget that not all people have access to technology especially in rural areas,and even those that have usually do not partake in these surveys

does-not - 5 July 2013

Mobile penetration is now 90% and the rural/urban population demographics is now 40/60 in favour of urban areas. Places like Kadoma, Chegutu, Chinhoyi, Bindura, Vic Falls, Marondera and others which were classed as rural have now become urban areas. This means the survey though somewhat skewered because of the place it was sourced should not be thrown out outright but interrogated.

gutter poet - 5 July 2013

After giving ZANU(PF) the chance to rule the country for more than 28 years and seeing where they have taken the country to, why would we still want to give ZANU(PF) another chance???? For them to achieve what???? Have we not seen enough of what they can do? 1) In 2008 they shut down the education system and send their children to study abroad using the country's money! 2) They destroyed the health system and they go abroad for treatment. 3) The country has no ambulances but they import luxury cars for themselves. My fellow countrymen, is it possible for a Patriot to be in ZANU(PF) today?

African Warrior - 5 July 2013

If you can rely on a survey of less than 2000 in which 40% declined to disclose their voting preferences, which the herald has given acres of space umpteen times to reinforce its stupid prediction that zpf will win, why not believe the Facebook one made up of voluntary participants. Zpf supported are free to participate freely too on this Facebook survey. The argument that the people participating are in the diaspora and have no influence on the real elections is weak. Many people in diaspora are also constantly in touch with people back home on Facebook, what's app et al. Even varikuruzeva chaiko.

Moyo - 5 July 2013

baba jukwa has tried but lets not forget that he can never influence an election as most people who will vote will be in rural areas were by they are not literate and do not know how to go on facebook. a following in harare only and mostly diaspora wont be good enough. baba jukwa vakutotsvaga bag and vatoriwana bag. he will just disapear anonymous after elections


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