Tsvangirai to win 61% - Survey

HARARE - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai (pictured) has a solid 34-percentage point lead over Zanu PF presidential candidate President Robert Mugabe in a new survey ahead of the make-or-break election on Wednesday.

The opinion poll by respected US firm, Williams and Associates of Salem, found that 61 percent of Zimbabwean voters favour Tsvangirai compared to 27 percent for Mugabe.

The survey, held between March 28 and April 5, 2013, was compiled from 800 interviews conducted across the country’s 10 provinces, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3,5 percent.

The majority of Zimbabweans (67 percent) think that Mugabe, 89, should step down and let another candidate represent Zanu PF.

“At 61 percent, MDC-T shows it has potential support from across the political spectrum with the exception of hardcore Mugabe voters,” says the report.

“The 27 percent favourable for Zanu PF matches the result of Mugabe’s support among his voters in 2008, that is he does not appeal to voters outside of his own personal core support.

“Polling clearly demonstrates that Zanu PF, with Mugabe at its head should not win...and this effect should also filter down, with negative effect to the parliamentary level. It could be argued then that Zanu PF’s electoral chances would be better with a different candidate who might appeal to a wider voter group.”

In his campaign speeches, Tsvangirai has been promising a convincing win in the July 31  vote against a foe he derides as the epitome of Zimbabwe’s economic disaster.

While earlier surveys have consistently showed that there will be a fierce battle between Mugabe and Tsvangirai, the Massachusetts-headquartered think-tank found that Tsvangirai, 61, is the best hope of unseating Mugabe after failing to remove him through the last two presidential ballots.

Tsvangirai has embarked on a nationwide tour intended to deepen his support and improve his poll standing.

The survey found that of the country’s 10 provinces, Tsvangirai leads Mugabe in seven —Matabeleland North, Matabeleland South, Manicaland, Mashonaland Central,  Mashonaland East, Harare and Bulawayo. Mugabe only leads in Mashonaland West, Masvingo and Midlands.

“By contrasting past turn-out with the present support levels it is highly unlikely that Mugabe could get even close to winning — he lacks critical mass,” the survey says.

The major wild card is Mugabe’s health. The veteran ruler insists he suffers from cataracts and treatment is going quite well.

The Zimbabwean leader prefers treatment in Singapore because he is guaranteed discretion in the tightly controlled Asian State and can lean on the counsel of his friend Mohammed Mahathir, the former Malaysian ruler.

In contrast with other high-profile figures around the region such as Nelson Mandela who have suffered frailty, Mugabe has not allowed doctors or others to give much official information on his own condition.

Beyond vague descriptions of seeking medical help for a nagging eye problem, details have been scant, leading to a frenzied rumour-mill and criticisms of excessive secrecy.

Mugabe’s health problems, associated with advanced age, have played into markets and raised expectations of a change of government. Mugabe managed to run 10 energy-sapping rallies across the provinces, albeit scaled back, whereas Tsvangirai is projecting an image of youth and zest.

Tsvangirai has continued to capitalise on Zimbabwe’s growing social and economic problems, warning the electorate that they faced a return to economic hardships if Mugabe was re-elected.

Tsvangirai, a centre-left politician campaigning on a platform of creating a million jobs, ending corruption and solving grassroots economic problems, wants to bring Western-style progress to Zimbabwe, with free-market economics alongside strong social welfare programmes.

Mugabe, known for his radical populism, nationalism and fierce anti-Western rhetoric, has called him a puppet of the West.

Underlining the polarised nature of Zimbabwean politics and the tense atmosphere this year, Tsvangirai has accused Mugabe of trying to rig the vote saying he was still to be furnished with important election-related information on the eve of the poll.

“The voters’ roll has not been availed to us; we don’t know who is printing the ballot papers,” Tsvangirai said.

“We don’t know where those ballot papers are being printed.”

But Mugabe has rejected allegations that he is planning to rig.

“We do not want observers to go away with the impression we won because we were using violence,” Mugabe said last week.

“That must be avoided. Let just the numbers talk. I am confident there will be minimal violence.”

The latest clutch of opinion poll has been disappointing for the ‘regime preservation’ camp, analysts note.

Comments (33)

The survey is totally misleading because Mashonaland Central and Mashonaland East are clearly Mugabe 's. The survey unfortunately erroneous and impressive to analysts.

Kambiri - 29 July 2013

The survey is totally misleading because Mashonaland Central and Mashonaland East are clearly Mugabe 's. The survey is unfortunately erroneous and unimpressive to analysts

Kambiri - 29 July 2013

Kambiri, you are halft right that Mashonaland Central and Mashonaland East are totally Mugabe's, he will get a lot of votes from there because of the past state-sponsored violence he initiated but he will not get all of the votes there unfortunately. MDCT will pick up some votes in these strongholds.

charles charingeno - 29 July 2013

This is pathetic journalism and dangerous propaganda by this unethical newspaper which is going to die a natural death alongside its master puppet Murgay.These are yesterday's dirty tactics.If this had any shred of truth in it why is this idiot man running around looking for a grand alliance with nonetities like that powerless Makoni guy and

mike muchapondwa - 29 July 2013

If Tsvangirayi wins we want that open hand ,(the MDC T's party symbol ) to represent an open hand of reconcilliation, peace , love and to unite all of us in Zimbabwe. We are one nation regardless of the parties we belong to, regardless of what tribes we belong to. If we look back at history , we shall find that we are all related because of simillarities of our Bantu languages and the colour of our skin, black. We share this colour because somewhere in the remote past here in Africa, we shared one ancestor who gave us our black skin and we spread all over Africa , so we are related, we are one nation, one tribe. Let us unite and offer reconcilliation to others as a way forward. If MDC T wins elections we want to stretch that open hand to shake hands with everyone and spread reconcilliation and healing, we want that hand to stretch to everyone in Zimbabwe and give high fives of peace and love to each and everyone of us in Zimbabwe and not dish out revenge or retalliation to anyone who had wronged us in the past. The way forward is reconcilliation, people are tired of beatings and arrests.

Mali - 29 July 2013

shame on the people who are presenting this rubbish,I dont think such pple hve ever stepped their foot in Zimbabwe,do they actually know Mash Central and East,just wait for your wakeup call on Wed.Shame on these desperate Americans

TSVANGIRAI - 29 July 2013

Being aware of your respectable readers, the one word to describe Gift Phiri's article is that it is political masturbation. Sincere apology to your readers for the language.

Rabison Nyundo (THE HAMMER) - 29 July 2013

How does a survey that is three months stale make a screaming headline just 2 days before the poll. This is pathetic Daily News is truly a flip side of the Herald!

Nkosizulu - 29 July 2013

Being aware of your respectable readers, the one word to describe Gift Phiri's article is that it is political masturbation. Sincere apology to your readers for the language.

Rabison Nyundo (THE HAMMER) - 29 July 2013

Nyundo,no need for apology my brother thats true this guys can dream on. They think we are shallow minded to believe this piece of garbage shame on such shallow minded journalist

TSVANGIRAI - 29 July 2013

Nyundo and "Tsvangirai" you are right about Mashonaland Central and Mahonaland East, where you have a dastardly history of maiming people for supporting the MDC-T so what do you expect from those fear-instilled people. Your party has made these people slaves in their own country. This is unbelievably true in an independent Zimbabwe, you claim to have liberated from coloniliasm. Now you have come back with another type of colonialism the only difference(which is painful) is that we have been colonised by our own people, our own black people have taken us hostage munyika yechizvarwa...Mbuya Nehanda should be turning in her grave, same applies to Sekuru Kaguvi!

charles charingeno - 29 July 2013

Baba @Nyundo and Baba @Tsvangirai bhora pasi please. Otherwise you will have a heart attack that your mature leader fears he will suffer when he loses on Wednesday!

Mercy - 29 July 2013

@Charles Charingeno - Why do you young people keep saying Zanu or ZanuPF liberated the country from colonialism? Zanu or Zapu never won a single skirmish against the Rhodeisan army. Zanu was voted into power in 1980 by the ordinary people. At the time Abel Muzorewa was the Prime Minister. Abel Muzorewa was the first black prime minister in this country. When did Zanu liberate Zimbabwe? Where did they do so? Was it in Salisbury or Umtali? Zanu or Zapu never liberated Zimbabwe - that is a lie. Yes they had guerilla armies but they never defeated anyone.

Eme - 29 July 2013

We of Mash East know what we want if they don't stuff the boxes because they have created an impression that it is their strong hold its not but it is where they have struck fear in us most that is why they are telling us to give them the last numbers of the ballot paper, I hope polling officers won't allow anybody with a pc of paper and must check our hands if we have not written anything on them. Vanoziva kuti hatisi vavo asi vanotyisidzira manje mazezuru magwara hah tinotya wena.

maita - 29 July 2013

Dream on

TSVANGIRAI - 29 July 2013

I think 61% within 10% margin, is still an appropriate percentage with the prevailing environment. 2008 is still fresh in peoples' minds when shops were empty, money bought nothing, social services collapsed, no refuse removal, no water, no electricity; and especially, for the rural folks, schools and clinics closed down. You cannot reasonably expect someone in Mashonaland East, just a peasant.. to put his check mark to return to that? Yes, there are die-hard Zanu PF supporters, and they will vote ZanuPF irrespective. These will be this 27% lot. This is about the same percentage he got in 2008 before 5 weeks were spent by Chiweshe and 'em bringing him up to 43%.

RT Murehwa - 29 July 2013

It has been noted many times that Zanu (pf) thrives on violence, intimidation, harassment and abuse of the electrorate. This has gone so deep into the minds of people so that this time around, people bare shouting - enough is enough. More to that Zanu (pf)'s 33 years in power has not done much to the people. They have be good in creating hyper-inflation, maladministration and corruption. So people outside his top brass and few inner circles wont make the mistake of voting for him. Even rigging this time around is going to help him either. Lastly please 'at 89 years' there is nothing to offer to the electrolate. Ngavambo zorora vaMgushungu-Mrambatsvina-Gukurahundi. This time you loose heavily. Mhira uone. Come 31st July.

Bobo - 29 July 2013

Tsvangirai beat Mugabage the last time with a campaign budget of 50k. He had no access to the whole country plus had no profile like he has now. Polls so close to the elections do not lie especially with a margin this big. Mugabage is history and he knows that.......i think people close to him know this, its only the lazy bastards that were surviving on partronage that are in denial.......

Mau Mau - 29 July 2013

Pfungwe is going to be the constituency that marks the end of an era for some people....the results of which will trigger an emergency politiburo meeting. another gnu or just chimurenga 4

robson sharuko - 30 July 2013

Hokoyo gore rino....

Kauchy - 30 July 2013

Stop dreaming, 31 July is going to be a defining moment, that`s day we will throw into the dustbin this political-pretender, i would rather vote for a 1000 year old sensible leader than vote for this 60 year old stupid and idiotic character. One who goes around taking people for granted by lying to them that he`s going to create 1 million jobs , yet in actual fact he`s referring to creating 1 million babies. Enough of this buffon who moves around with a wide -open zip and a permanently shut mind. Welcome to the real world,the honeymoon of 2008 is over!!!

John Marara - 30 July 2013

Which hand do you prefer An open hand ready to welcome you or a bunched fist ready to box you? THINK BEFORE YOU VOTE!!

Johno - 30 July 2013


GUMBOREHOHWA - 30 July 2013


tendai - 30 July 2013

My friend a fist is a sign of unity of purpose and an open hand is is a sign of surrender. The open hand sign is used in churches meaning to say one is surrendering himself/herself to the almight God. If you know ZANUPF slogan which says Pamberi nekubatana!!! then you know one cannot say kubatana with fragmented fingers. That is a sign of divide them seperate them then penetrate them. THINK BEFORE YOU VOTE BECAUSE YOU DONT KNOW WHAT MBAMA STANDS FOR.

Takeiteasy Marcaves - 30 July 2013

Zimbabweans, be focused this time around. Really the country needs change. You cannot have an 89 yrs old man and still expect to excute his duty well. Surely he is both physically and mentally exhausted. Vote wisely!

isaac - 30 July 2013

@Jonh marara ,dont be too emotional my brother ,nobody can stop the wind of change not even yo president .wake up and smell the coffee boet

br - 30 July 2013

If you consider Ncube's showing at his Bulawayo rally then deliberately say nothing about it, it means journalism has gone wrong.

Mweni Tafara - 30 July 2013


KARTER KOTO - 30 July 2013

We your Zambian brothers and sisters here in Zambia are watching with keen interest.There is a time when a human being his cogitating capability starts to fail him/her, and this time is when some one is over 80 yrs. What flesh ideas can some one with the age of above 80 can bring? Zimbabweans ,vote wisely for the betterment of your children. Don't say you were not foretold.

issac - 30 July 2013

If the opinion poll is true, it therefore follows that 61 percent of Zimbabweans are gay- believe it or not.

reason - 30 July 2013

mugabe must go

ollen banda - 1 August 2013

I think the converse is true. I see ZANU making in roads into the MDC strongholds of Harare,Mutare and Masvingo.Lets just use the rallies as basic indicators.MT rallies never came close to RGM ralies let alone even Zanu-pf parlamentrians except for the last Harare star rally.But again if we were to place these people in the national sports stadium it will be neck to neck albeit this is "HARARE" we are talking of. Forget about rigging guys or intimidation.we voted for RGM on our own will. it's just going to be a clean sweep. MDC should go back on the drawing board and desist from the anti-Mugabe slogan.Bring something solid on the table.

Rumbi Mondy - 1 August 2013

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