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Working paper

WP12: Democracy and national governance in Zimbabwe: A country survey report

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Two decades of ZANU-PF rule has left Zimbabweans yearning for change. The survey revealed deep discontent with the democratic performance of the government and the management of the economy. Citizens overwhemingly reject one-man and one-party rule and clear majorities support democracy and prefer it to any other alternative. The constitutional reform exercise that coincided with the survey sowed seeds of hope at the time and helped to spur the current quest for change in the country. A cause for concern, however, is that only about half of all Zimbabweans would act to defend democracy, perhaps due to fear instilled by the ruling party’s intimidation. This raises questions as to where any momentum for change will come from and how far it can be sustained. Lack of space for participation in public affairs has left citizens with fatalistic attitudes towards governance in the country. Change in Zimbabwe can thus be achieved partly by encouraging the public to claim their citizenship rights through political participation.

Eldred Masunungure

Eldred V. Masunungure is the Director of the Harare-based Mass Public Opinion Institute (MPOI)

Annie Chikwanha-Dzenga

Annie Barbra Chikwanha-Dzenga is a lecturer in the Department of Politics and Administrative Studies in the University of Zimbabwe

Nyasha Madzingira

Nyasha Madzingira is a research fellow at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Zimbabwe